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Staining and destaining PAGE gels - Alternative method for stain and destain (Jul/08/2002 )

Hi! i am running PAGE gels  almost everyday. I am using standard staining method which contains methanol, As methanol is very toxic i am looking for any other alternative method which does not involves methanol. Any suggestions.


You can use ethanol instead of methanol, but they take an age to  stain and destain - not recommended unless youve got plenty of time of your hands. You can buy premade methanol free satin from invitrogen and biorad but it ain't cheap.  I would just stick with the methanol and  make an effort to be carefull.


Hi kadamb :-)
in our lab we are using the "Gel Code Blue Stain Reagent" from Pierce. It is easy to use and less toxic, the destaining is done with water.
for more info:

I hope that helps you,


How dangerous is methanol anyway? Will I die if I drank a drop of it?


Methanol has an LDLo human of 143 mg/kg.

LDLo is an abbreviation for Lethal Dose Low, the minimum amount of a chemical which tests have shown will be lethal to a specified type of animal. This is normally quoted in mg kg-1 body weight.

For comparison, KCN has a LDLo human of 2,86 mg/kg.

We use Ethanol instead of Methanol in all (Coomassie-) solutions and we put the gel in the staining solution, boil it twice for 20'' in the microwave for staining. For destaining, we let it cool down a bit in destaining solution (about 5') then cange the solution, and boil it twice for 20'' again, then change buffer again and destain at RT for about 1h.


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