Environmentally safe removal/disposal of Coomassie Brilliant Blue from gel destain and used gel stain

Anal Biochem. 2010 Sep 15;404(2):193-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2010.05.022. Epub 2010 May 25.


Gel destaining following Coomassie Brilliant Blue (CBB) staining involves the use of toxic reagents. Here we demonstrate the efficacy of various paper adsorbents in adsorbing CBB. Kimwipes adsorbed the best, followed by Teri towels, multifold towels, and Whatman numbers 1 and 3 filter papers. Three Kimwipes completely adsorbed the dye released from a CBB-stained mini-gel. Nonradioactive destain solution can, therefore, be recycled for destaining CBB-stained gels. Stain removal with Kimwipes helps in reducing destain use and in reducing organic liquid waste, and it is 7.5-fold cheaper compared with an available method for CBB disposal. Following this, we determined the suitability of this procedure to remove the dye from a used CBB staining solution awaiting proper disposal by our Institutional Safety Office. The dye from a 0.05% CBB staining solution could be removed in 5 to 10 min using 75 Kimwipes. The CBB-adsorbed Kimwipes did not release the stain when squeezed dry even after incubation in various salts over 1week and in water for 5 weeks. The CBB removed allows its easy disposal as solid waste and will not leach out from solid landfills. Thus, stain removal with Kimwipes helps in disposing CBB in an environmentally friendly manner and allows recycling of destaining solution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Indicators and Reagents / chemistry
  • Rosaniline Dyes / chemistry*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Rosaniline Dyes
  • coomassie Brilliant Blue