can i wash and reuse bacterial heat set slides?

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tggreenberg
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:43 pm

can i wash and reuse bacterial heat set slides?

#1 Post by tggreenberg » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:55 pm

high school teacher here....new microbio course....with all these gram stain slides i have....do i have to autoclave and toss them all in trash?
If i soak in soap will the heat set bacteria come off enough that i can autoclave and reuse them? I hate to waste them! thank you!

Peter
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: can i wash and reuse bacterial heat set slides?

#2 Post by Peter » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:54 pm

I would clean and reuse them. Why would you autoclave them?

Peter.

Wes
Posts: 307
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:58 pm

Re: can i wash and reuse bacterial heat set slides?

#3 Post by Wes » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:52 pm

I'd leave them in bleach for a couple of days.

Tom Jones
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: can i wash and reuse bacterial heat set slides?

#4 Post by Tom Jones » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:31 am

Of course you can reuse the slides. We tossed them into Hazardous Waste in the hospital lab, but that was because of the glass, not the organisms. In a hospital it is rarely cost effective to wash things like slides. Labor costs too much, particularly when you're doing 50-100 gram stains a day. School budgets being what they are, washing and reusing slides makes perfect sense.

No need to autoclave - though you can if you want - it won't hurt the slides. The gram stain process should kill everything, but if you're worried, soak them in 5% household bleach for a couple of hours, then wash them in dish detergent or Alconox.

Tom

mnmyco
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:03 pm

Re: can i wash and reuse bacterial heat set slides?

#5 Post by mnmyco » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:38 am

For high school, I would say use a mix of vinegar and original formula dawn dish detergent. When I ran a microbiology and mycology lab, we would put slides in a 2 liter container with the vinegar/dawn mix and let it sit until full. We then cleaned them all and let them dry. The stronger the acetic acid the better, so if you can find the 20% vinegar that is sometimes sold in grocery stores that would be good. Vinegar removes a lot of stains used in a microbiology lab. Though, usually you need the concentration to be above 50% to quickly clean stains.

MNMyco

MicroBob
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:11 am

Re: can i wash and reuse bacterial heat set slides?

#6 Post by MicroBob » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:13 am

For the final cleaning of slides a dish washer is useful: You take the plastic inlet of a 50 or 100 slide box and drill big holes in the bottom with a hole cutter. Depending on your dish washer and the type of plastics you may have to remove it before the final drying step. For some preparation techniques like blood smears the surface of the slide is important. This can often be optimized by drawing the slide through the flame of an alcohol burner.

Bob

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