”Floaters” are the common frustrating trouble in the histology slide preparation. This unfortunate event can occur on many stages of specimen processing, including embedding. The cooling paraffin creates especially favorable conditions for tissue sticking to forceps’ treads.
One of the possible methods of getting rid of residual tissue is incinerating by using a Bunsen burner while warming the forceps tip. Open fire in a room with possible presence of combustive materials (alcohols, xylene, acetone, etc.) is unacceptable. Periodical use of metallic brushes does not solve the problem either. The microbiology loop incinerator is not an option because the forceps is inserted with closed branches.
A bronze cylindrical gun barrel brush can be used for cleaning the forceps treads while embedding. The brush is attached with a clamp to the Para-Trimmer (Thermo Shadow) heated panel. A short bristled brush (gun barrel threads size 8-32) is preferable, although a bigger size brush also can be used. The possible residual tissue in the treads of the forceps can be eliminated with one movement of the hand. The brush’s warming, though short of complete paraffin melting, enhances the cleaning. The Phosphor Bronze brush is resistant to xylene that is used for cleaning the brush from paraffin crumbs.