Preserving with Hand Sanitizer


This video demonstrates how to take insect and other invertebrate specimens and have them float (like magic) in a vial or cuvette filled with ordinary hand sanitizer. This allows you and the public (kids!) to manhandle the specimens without worry. The cuvettes are especially nice since they are plastic, square, optically clear, and can be looked at under the microscope.

Note that depending on the container sometimes the plastic/acrylic will crack becuase of reactions with the alcohol and superglue. Glass vials don’t have that problem, but don’t look as good.

NEW…we are now taking hi res pictures of specimens in cuvettes…check out:

Fly face_2012-10-23-16.12


18 Responses to Preserving with Hand Sanitizer

  1. Video guy

    Can you preserve a snake

  2. aneesh vs

    Sir. Plz send your WhatsApp number

  3. Logang pauler

    Whoever is holding the camera that person is kidnapped

  4. The crustacean

    Do they do that at museums or did they still only use alcohol and pinning

  5. Frederick Dunn

    An absolutely excellent demonstration and very much appreciated!!! Thumbs Up all the way, thank YOU!

  6. christopherscottb

    Why do fresh specimens cause the gel to disappear?

  7. Aya Murphy

    I preserve black widows in hand sanitize and the specimens I have had in the solution for more than a year have leaked white fluid the either pooled around the body or settled. I do preserve in alcohol to start. Any advice?

  8. MJ Killjoy Z

    can I preserve flowers with hand sanitizer?

  9. jordan greenall

    how do you dry them

  10. Cody Lefler

    Why the hell are cuvettes 80$ a piece?

  11. Bidhan Karfa

    sir, where do i get the square glass cube?

  12. n00bszpro

    What are the process for the insect itself? Do you put a live insect in the freezer or in a container and let it dry out? or do you find dead ones in the wild?

  13. Charlotte L Powell

    Hi Sam, I love this technique. Have you tried DNA extraction afterwards? Also, does applying heat to the set specimen get rid of the air bubbles? This is a technique I use in resin which works well

  14. First Rate Scissorist

    Take a shot every time he says hand sanitizer…

  15. MoPro Uploads

    I have some questions:
    Where can I get those test tube things that you put the bug in?
    Where can I get the syringe that you use to remove air bubbles
    And how can I dry out the insect?

  16. Dylan S

    What is the best way to dry bugs out? I've read you can leave them to air dry, but that could lead to the colors fading?

  17. Ragad Ragad

    Excuse me, my family found a beautiful, dead monarch butterfly and I want to preserve it. Both it's wings are slightly folded and I want to preserve it in such a way that it will be easily stored (not in a
    Large box, maybe between two sheeted of plastic?) so that I can't take it out for drawing reference. I am short of resources, and would appreciate it if you could tell me an easy way to preserve it. Thank you. Great and helpful video, by the way, I'm just sad I can't use this technique.

  18. Kerry Campbell

    Can you use this method with goldfish?

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