Cleaning procedure for our Diamond Knives

We recommend 3 different methods for cleaning of our Diamond knives.

Method 1

Immediately after picking up the sections, remove all unused sections with a haircurl on an eyelash. Then clean the knife edge as follows

  • Empty the boat, dry carefully with filter paper (without touching the knife edge) and remount it in the ultramicrotome knife stage.
  • Take one of our polystyrene sticks and bevel it to an angle of approx. 60°, using an oil free razor blade.
  • Dip the rod into 100% ethanol and shake off the excess.
  • Pass the rod over the cutting edge without applying pressure.

Mechanical cleaning as mentioned above is absolutely necessary after cutting poorly polymerized blocks (i.e. Lowicrylpolymerized in a freeze substitution apparatus).

Method 2

If you do not feel comfortable using method 1, there is an alternative. After picking up the sections, immediately

  • Remove all unused sections with a hair curl or an eyelash.
  • Rinse the knife thoroughly with distilled water.
  • Take a can of clean pressurized air and blow the water off the cutting edge.

Method 3

If sections or debris dry on the knife edge, we recommend the following cleaning procedure
Place the knife in distilled water, adding one or two drops of mild liquid dishwashing detergent.

  • Let the knife sit overnight.
  • Remove the knife and rinse with distilled water.
  • Now proceed to clean the knife using Method 1.

Cleaning Cryo Diamond Knives

  • Remove the knife from the cryo chamber before heating up the chamber.
  • Rinse the knife under tap water to warm it up.
  • Clean the knife using Method 1
    • Use 50% ethanol for cryo knives used for biological applications
    • Use 100% ethanol for cryo knives used for polymer sectioning.


We do not recommend sonification for the cleaning of any of our diamond knives. Solvents and acids should never be used under any circumstances.