How to prepare & stain permanent microscope slides

Written by bailey shoemaker richards
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Preparing and staining microscope slides for frequent and repeated use saves the specimen on the slide and protects the slide itself from being scratched or broken. There are two basic ways of preparing microscope slides for permanent use, and they depend on what type of specimen is involved. Once you have all of the supplies necessary for preparing the slides, the process of staining and protecting them can be completed in a matter of moments.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Slides
  • Specimen samples
  • Cover slips
  • Dye
  • Water

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Instructions

    How to Prepare a Dry Mount Microscope Slide

  1. 1

    Lay the slide on a flat, clean surface to prepare it. Avoid placing the slide on small objects that can scratch or contaminate the surface.

  2. 2

    Place your sample specimen on the slide. Make sure the specimen is as flat as possible.

  3. 3

    Put the slip cover over the slide. Put the slide cover on slowly so that it does not bump or destroy your specimen.

    How to Prepare and Stain a Wet Mount Microscope Slide

  1. 1

    Lay the slide on a flat, clean surface to prepare it. Avoid placing the slide on small objects that can scratch or contaminate the surface.

  2. 2

    Mix a small amount of dye with water until it has reached the colour you want for your specimen. Do not get the dye on your skin, as it will stain.

  3. 3

    Put a small amount of your coloured water on the surface of the slide.

  4. 4

    Place your specimen into the water on your slide.

  5. 5

    Place the cover slip onto the slide. Hold the slide cover at an angle and lower it onto the slide so that it spreads the water evenly out on the slide without catching any air bubbles or damaging the specimen.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not ingest dye.

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