Dissection trays

Discussion in 'Supporting Biology' started by Emily Smith, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. The dissection trays I have here are the deep enamel dishes half-filled with what I thought was wax - presumably to pin samples into.
    The science teachers and I agreed that we weren't really fond of the waxy substance, especially as what we dissect here is mostly nice bloody organs, and the "wax" is black, making it impossible to see how well the trays have been cleaned.
    So, today I put some of the trays in the oven, hoping to melt the "wax" so I could pour it away and clean the trays properly.
    ...only, I'm not so sure it's wax anymore; it melts, sure, but not like wax. It's really thick and stretchy, and doesn't run nicely out of the trays. It sort of smells a bit like tar.
    Anyone have any idea what I might be dealing with here?
  2. I've seen black wax before and it behaves slightly differently that the (IMHO) nicer white paraffin wax
    Is it doing this? (Skip ahead to about 30 seconds)

    If so then that's the stuff
  3. Yup, that looks like it!
    Thank you
  4. it will melt in a bath of hot water, overheating it will set the fire alarm off.

    I only have wax in plastic takeaway tubs for insect dissections (locusts).

    the metal trays without wax can go in the dishwasher.
  5. Same, we only use this for locusts. everything else just done on boards.
    Rat done on v large wooden board
  6. We do organs like lungs and hearts and also whole fish on standard plastic (food) chopping boards (as they don't need pinning down) which go straight into the dishwasher and we have some tiny wooden boards (about 15cm x 15cm) for locusts which we pin down with dressmaking pins. We do have some big wooden boards but thankfully don't use them anymore as I imagine they would be a pain to clean. We don't do rats thank g! Don't fancy these wax trays....