Recycling Coomassie destain

David Micklem drm21 at
Thu Jul 24 08:51:52 EST 1997

In article <8014181823071997.A07419.ATO4.11B7BC920D00*@MHS>,
M.W.T.WERTEN at (WERTEN) wrote:

>Dear colleagues,
>In order to reduce the amount of chemical waste, our lab would like to recycle
>the MeOH/HAc destain we use for Coomassie stained gels, by removing the stain.
>Has anyone figured out a convenient way of doing this? Is activated carbon the
>best thing to use, or will filtration through a thick stack of paper do?
>Any suggestions are welcome,
>Marc Werten (m.w.t.werten at
>Dept. Microbial Conversions
>Agrotechnological Research Institute (ATO-DLO)
>Bornsesteeg 59
>6708 PD Wageningen
>The Netherlands
>FAX: +31.317.475347

Foam bungs seem to pull out the blue dye pretty well - I used to drop one
in to speed up destaining.

An alternative is to use a colloidal coomassie stain (which is what I do
now).  Its available from several people (Integrated Separation Systems
Pro-Blue and Sigma, at least) or you can make it yourself. Then you don't
need to destain, thought the constituents may be worse than MeOH/Acetic
acid: phosphoric acid, ammonium sulphate and MeOH

The original reference is:

Neuhoff V, Arold N, Taube D, Ehrhardt W: Improved staining of proteins in
polyacrylamide gels including isoelectric focusing gels with clear
background at nanogram sensitivity using Coomassie Brilliant Blue G-250 and
R-250. Electrophoresis 1988, 9:255-262.

First heard of it here on methods and reagents....


D.R.Micklem,                                Time flies like an arrow... 
Wellcome/CRC Institute,            Fruit flies like a banana.       
Cambridge CB2 1QR, UK               Email:drm21 at
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