Xylene Substitutes


Dear HistoNet Colleagues,
     I am interested in your experiences with xylene substitutes.  In my 
former lab, we used Shandon Histosolve xylene substitute for both processing 
and H&E staining.  In my current lab, we use the now discontinued Fisher 
Hemo-De limonene based product in our processor, and xylene in our H&E 
     At NSH, many people mentioned dissatisfaction with the limonene clearing 
agents because of the strong odor and the consequential sensitivity to it.  
Xylene is highly toxic and has a foul odor.  I would like to eliminate it 
entirely from my lab except for occasional wax cleaning purposes.
     The ideal xylene substitute would, of course, be a completely benign 
substance that was odorless and yielded beautiful histological results in 
processing and automated H&E staining.  Has anyone found something that comes 
anywhere close to this ideal?  Is there any product I should avoid because 
you found it disastrous?
     Thank you so much for your help!
Best regards,
Kim Atkin HT (ASCP) 

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