Fixing and Holding Solutions

The preservation of all specimens involves the chemical alterations of the tissue proteins that inhibit bacterial and fungal growth that ultimately leads to decomposition. Fixation is a process in which a chemical fixative reduces tissues to an incorruptible state.

After fixation, specimens are rinsed in water and placed in a holding solution. Our preserving methods provide safe, worry-free handling of each specimen.

Holding Solutions


Once fixed, Ward's Science regular preserved materials are placed in Ward’Safe, a holding fluid that maintains the state of preservation.

  • Contains no formalin
  • Contains a formaldehyde scavenger that seeks out and binds to the free formaldehyde in formalin-containing fluids that may seep from specimens, effectively reducing the already minimal residual level.
  • Independent laboratory tests have determined Ward’Safe is non-sensitizing to skin. It is not a primary skin or eye irritant in accordance with Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • All pail packed specimens are packed in Ward’Safe, with the exception of botanical specimens, which are packed in glycerin, and some arthropods, which are packed in alcohol.

100% Form-Free Specimens

Absolutely no formaldehyde is used during processing of our Form-Free specimens. This method involves a fixative which is totally consumed during the fixation process so that none of the chemical remains in the specimen. A 100% Form-Free specimen allows students and instructors that have concerns over formaldehyde exposure the opportunity to perform worry-free dissections.