Activity: Pulling a Stain

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  • To learn how to stain wet mounted specimens for use on a compound microscope (like one of THESE)

  • Slide
  • Cover slip
  • Water
  • Stain (Drugstore "Tincture of Iodine" works great)

  1. Prepare a wet mount slide. (See the wet mount activity.)
  2. Place a drop of stain at one edge of the cover slip. It should be in contact with the water under the cover slip.
  3. Place an absorbent paper towel or tissue at the other side of the cover slip. The towel will draw the water from beneath the slip, which will in turn draw the stain into the specimen.
  4. Additional stain can be added and drawn into the specimen as needed.

Pulling a stain

This simple procedure is commonly called "Pulling a Stain" by microscopists!
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