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Preparation of Equipment for Dissections

Submitted by sat on 03 June 2016

Answer reviewed 15 December 2022

There is no requirement to disinfect dissection equipment BEFORE being dispensed to a class. It is important that dissecting equipment be thoroughly clean and rust free before being issued to students for a dissection, to reduce the likelihood of any infection if the user were to cut or stab themselves.

The cleaning process occurs at the end of the dissection and the implements stored clean and dry ready for the next session.

AFTER the dissection, if blood is present on dissecting equipment, it is desirable to soak them first in disinfectant. Otherwise washing in hot soapy water or putting them through the dishwasher is recommended practice. After washing, the dissecting instruments can be soaked in 70% v/v ethanol for 20 minutes as an optional additional disinfectant and to avoid equipment from rusting. Soaking in a bleach solution is not suitable as bleach will cause metal instruments to corrode.

For further information regarding dissections and procedures see any of the following SOPs:


1 Science ASSIST website, (2016, August),SOP: performing an eye dissection’, retrieved from

2 Science ASSIST website, (2016, September),SOP: performing a kidney dissection’, retrieved from

3 Science ASSIST website, (2016, September), SOP: performing a heart dissection’, retrieved from

4 Science ASSIST website, (2016, September), SOP: performing a rat dissection’, retrieved from

5 Science ASSIST website, (2017, December),SOP: performing a chicken wing dissection’, retrieved from

6 Science ASSIST website, (2017, December), SOP: performing a brain dissection’, retrieved from

7 Science ASSIST website, (2017, December),SOP: performing a lung dissection’, retrieved from

Flinn Scientific website, (2019), Dissection safety - policy and procedures’ retrieved from

Riskassess website, (accessed 2022, December 11), Issues relating to dissections’, retrieved from