Dipslide Use

Can dipslides be kept in the fridge to improve shelf life?

Our dipslides should not be kept in a fridge. Store in a cool dry place. Optimum 8 - 15 degrees C. Storing the dipslides in a cool, dark cupboard or drawer close to the floor is a popular choice. Commercially available wine chillers can be set at the optimum temperature if you are looking for a product to store them in (always check the temperatures before purchasing).

Can your dipslides be used for air sampling?

Air sampling for fungi / mould is a common practice. It is often performed by using open agar plates and exposing them to the air for a period of time. Dipslides can be used in a very similar way. To do this, you would remove the dipslide from its tube, turn it upside down and place the upside down cap within the dipslide tube. The cap should slot in easily within the tube. You can then expose the slide to the air for a specific amount of time, usually 15 minutes and then the dipslide can be replaced back within its tube and incubated.

Our SAB DEX Dipslide is suitable for air sampling and will support growth / detect a large variety of fungal spores / colonies. You can purchase our SAB DEX Dipslide here: Buy SAB DEX

Do I need an incubator to use the dipslides?

We always recommend using an incubator as the dipslides require a constant, stable temperature to incubate. Some people use airing cupboards to 'incubate' them or other warm rooms but as these environments don't provide a constant, stable temperature at the temperature required for incubation, we cannot guarantee accurate results using this method.

The only dipslides that we have that do not require incubation via an incubator are our HPC samplers.

Are dipslides single use or are they reusable?

Hi, unfortunately all dipslides are single use as once they have been used to test, they are then classed as contaminated and should be disposed of as detailed below.

What is the correct procedure for disposal of dipslides?

Used slides should be incinerated, autoclaved or soaked in disinfectant for several hours before disposal. If you are using an autoclave, we can also provide autoclavable disposal bags. Prices start at £10.60 for 100 small bags. Please contact us if you require further information.

Specifications of Dipslides

What are the dimensions of each dipslide when it is inside its tube?

The tubes are approx 3cm wide and 9.5cm high (11cm if you include the dipslide handle).

What is the surface area of the agar pads?

Approx 4.7 cm x 2 cm.

What is the lowest CFU that your dipslides can detect?

500 per ml is the lowest reliable level. Below this 'experimental error' plays an increasingly large part.

Which dipslide is best for me?

I use dipslides from a different supplier. How can I work out which of your slides is best to use?

We have made a list of dipslides (that you can view at https://dip-slides.com/content/10-dipslide-comparison) which has our recommended slide for each product that you may already be using.

If your slide isn't listed, please feel free to contact us and we will be able to help assist you with this.

Specific Dipslide Applications

Can you use the metal cutting fluid dipslides for any metalworking applications (not just metal cutting)?

Yes, the metal cutting fluid dipslides are suitable for testing any cutting fluid, grinding fluid, milling fluid, coolant etc.

Do your Cooling Water dipslides test for legionella?

Our cooling water dipslides are not a legionella specific test. These dipslides test the general health of a sample. If the dipslides show the sample to be highly contaminated this means that the potential for legionella to be present or thrive is greater.  An environment with high bacterial growth could be a perfect breeding ground for legionella. The presence of other organisms can support legionella by producing the organic nutrients that it needs to thrive. Our dipslides will indicate to you whether you have a high bacterial count. The HSE recommend weekly dipslide tests. You can read more information in our Legionella blog post or on our Cooling Water dipslides page.

How often should I test using dipslides in a dental surgery?

This is not something that we can advise on. You would need to contact your local authority / regulatory body regarding this matter. 

How frequently do I have to test for metal cutting applications?

The UK Health and Safety Executive state the following on their website:

'For many systems and sumps, weekly checks (such as dipslides) will be required. The risk assessment may vary this period if the continuing control of bacterial contamination can be demonstrated. Checks (such as dipslides) will normally be required at some intervals to check continuing control.'

More details can be found here: HSE 

Do you have any metal cutting fluid record sheets that I can download?

Yes, there are two options. You can either download and print off our PDF 52 week record sheet (as soon as you click on the file, it will automatically download to your PC) which can be found here: 52 Week Record Sheet

The other option, is to download our free editable excel compliance document. To do this, add the free product to your basket and go through the checkout. The link to the download will be automatically emailed to you after you've gone through the checkout. You can find the excel document here: Excel Compliance Sheet

Why do some dipslides contain neutralisers and what do they do?

Neutralisers are added to agars to ‘neutralise’ the effect of disinfectants / germicides. This is useful if you wish to test the efficacy of disinfectants / germicides.

If you test an area after you have disinfected it, residual disinfectant can affect the reading on the dipslide and give a false result. This happens because disinfectants / cleaning agents stop the growth of micro-organisms but may not kill them. Therefore, if you use a normal dipslide (without neutralisers), the residual disinfectant will still stop the growth of the micro-organism meaning that it won’t grow on the dipslide agar. This means that the micro-organism may still be present in the sample (not totally eradicated) but it will not grow on the dipslide due to the disinfectant inhibiting its growth. Therefore, this would be a false result. The displide would not grow any micro-organisms even if they are still there in the sample.

This is where the neutraliser comes in. It ‘neutralises’ the residual disinfectant meaning that the inhibitory effect that the disinfectant has on the micro-organism will no longer be active. This means that if any micro-organisms are still there after disinfection, they will now grow on the dipslide allowing for a much more accurate result of the efficacy of your cleaning regime.

In conclusion, the neutraliser aids in the recovery of surviving / viable organisms. The use of a neutraliser helps ensure that the efficacy of a cleaning agent isn't overestimated.

Ordering Dipslides

Why are there large minimum order volumes for some dipslides?

Some dipslides are more popular than others. The dipslides that are ordered often are produced on a regular basis to keep up with demand and are almost always in stock. 'Specials' or dipslides that aren't ordered as often are made to order and require a production run. The minimum production run numbers are usually 150 - 200 boxes. As these dipslides are made to order, a longer shelf life is guaranteed.

Do you have trade discounts?

We have a reseller account that can be applied for (minimum order 100 boxes). To do this, please contact us via our ‘Contact Us’ page. Alternatively, volume discounts can be found in a box at the top of each dipslide page. Volume discounts for dipslides begin at 25 boxes.

Do you send email quotations / offer credit terms?

Unfortunately, we do not send official quotes via email. All orders are placed on the website.

We do not offer pro-forma invoicing, credit accounts, email / phone orders. You can order on our website and pay via bank transfer, credit / debit card or Paypal.

For a purchase order, you can enter a PO number during the checkout. If you select bank transfer, the bank details / invoice will be emailed to you which you can pass onto the purchasing department if required.

I need to set you up on our systems, can you fill in a form?

For security reasons, we cannot open any email attachments. Due to this, we have listed supplier form details on this page (https://dip-slides.com/content/19-ordering-policy) so that you have the information needed to set dip-slides.com up on your systems.

Where can I download my invoice?

If you log into your account and visit this page: https://dip-slides.com/order-history, there will be a PDF icon next to your order, click on this and your invoice will automatically download.

Your Dip-slides.com Account

Where can I change account details such as my email address?

You can do this by visiting https://dip-slides.com/identity. Here you can change your name, email address and password.

General Dipslide Questions

Can I purchase the dipslide vials / tubes separately?

Unfortunately, this isn't a service that we offer at the moment.

I require an agar that isn't on your 'Create your own' section, what can I do?

This isn't a problem. If you send us an email and let us know which agar you require or if you require a specific formulation of an agar already listed (e.g with added supplements), we will get back to you with a quote. Most likely, we will be able to arrange for any agar that you require to be applied to our dipslides.

The agar on my dipslide has turned blue after testing, what could this be?

This could be cyanobacteria (previously known as blue - green algae). If this occurs on your dipslide, it may be best to treat the system as if the cyanobacteria reproduces rapidly, it could be a health risk (algal blooms).

There is condensation inside the dipslide tube. Is this still ok to use?

Yes these are still fine to use. It is sterile water that has evaporated from the agar due to temperature changes during transit or storage. It may be worth evaluating your storage temperatures as keeping dipslides outside of the recommended range (8 - 15 degrees C) can cause other issues that will affect the dipslide's performance.