What type of microscope slides to use?

I got a hand me down American Optical One-Fifty and it has been a while since I had to buy or prepare slides. It is a compund microscope with a stage and all that. I want to look at slices of fungi and plants, mostly. Are slides a 1 time use? I would slice, wet, then add a coverslip, right? Also stain, if needed. Any favorite brands?

Up to you. I’ve had some employers wash and reuse, others discard. Depends on how clean they need to be.

Also depends on what you’re trying to look at.

I think they’re all pretty similar. My current employer orders from VWR but we get an institutional discount with them.


I don’t think there is much difference in slides from different lab supply companies (e.g. VWR, Fisher). I try to wash and reuse slides as much as possible but coverslips tend to break more easily and may not be worth trying to wash those and risking cutting your fingers in the process. Personally, I like medium-sized cover slips over the small square ones because you can fit more on one slide. What I would stay away from are “unbreakable” plastic cover slips. Our department ordered those at some point for student labs and we found they are too thick and don’t let you focus well with 40x objectives, forget about using them for oil immersion (100x). One of those things that sounded like a good idea and turned out to be pretty unusable in practice.

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Thanks for the feedback. I went with some basic stuff from Amscope, including a dust cover. I was able to lokk at a platain leaf with success.

Even though my family member had the unit covered in plastic, over the years of sitting in a closet, dust got onto the surfaces. As far as optics, mostly the eye pieces. Reading online, they say not to use Kimwipes on the optics, and to start with a camera blower bulb thing (which I already have). Then try a special optical cloth with cleaning solution (saliva?), not dry. Also something about a camel hair brush. Know anything about cleaning? I saw online there is a local microscope service in the area as well.

We always cleaned lenses with lens paper and 95% ethanol.

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