Microbiological Dipslides

Microbiological Dipslides

Dipslides (also called dip slides or dip-slides) are a tool used for microbiological monitoring of liquids and surfaces. Dip slides are the most popular tool for measuring bacteria levels in water or liquid systems and should be the foundation of your bacteria test kit.

The Health and Safety ExecutiveHydro-X how to test water with dipslides(HSE) recommends the use of microbiological dipslides to monitor the levels of ‘aerobic’ bacteria in many different environments. The dip slide test consists of a sterile reactive agar on a plastic paddle that is dipped into the sample liquid, or pressed onto the surface. The dip-slide is then placed in a dipslide incubator for a fixed amount of time at a fixed temperature to allow the bacteria to grow.

Most dip slides consist of 1 or 2 agars attached to a flexible plastic paddle. Our dipslides come in a user-friendly, circular, clear shatterproof tube that can be inserted into almost any dip-slide incubator.

What Exactly Are Dipslides?

So what are dip slides and why should you be using them?

Dip slides are a tool used for microbiological monitoring in liquids and surfaces. Dipslides are the most popular tool for measuring bacteria in water systems.

The main aim of dip slide testing is to detect levels of bacteria present. Bacteria is all around us, though some bacteria is harmless, others can cause problems to both machinery and people. The harmful bacteria can be costly and in some cases life-threatening.

RBS Dipslides

Our dipslides are manufactured in the UK and are accredited to ISO 9001 quality standards.
Each dip slide is visually inspected to examine every slide. This ensures the highest quality products are provided to our customers.

Why Do So Many People Use Dipslides?

Dip slides are an easier and faster way of testing, with no preparation or training required. The HSE’s (Health and Safety Executive) ACoP L8 recommends using dip slides for monitoring and testing for bacteria. Hydro-X Store supply dip slides in boxes of 10 complete with a visual chart used to determine the levels of bacteria present. The main benefits for using dipslides is price. We supply low cost and affordable dip slides through our Hydro-X Store.

Dip slides can be used for liquid and surface testing, used in various industries to access bacteria contamination. Our dipslides are easy to use and require no prior training or preparation. Please see below the easy steps of dip slides testing.

How To Use Our Dip slides

Each dip slide has an easy grip handle and a flexible paddle for ease of surface testing, with a large paddle for easy results reading.

Using our Hydro-X dip slides is easy!

If a high result is obtained the test should be repeated. Once a result has been confirmed corrective action should be taken.

Dipslide Fluid

Dipslide Surface

How To Use Dipslides

1. Easy To Use!

Each dip slide has an easy grip handle and a flexible paddle for ease of use, and for surface testing.

Hydro-X how to test water with dipslides

2. Dipslide Fluid

Immerse the gel part of the slide in the fluid or hold the slide under running liquid. Replace in its tube, label, incubate.

How to test surfaces with dipslides

OR 2. Testing Surfaces

Press the agar against the surface. Put the slide back into the tube, label, incubate.

Dipslide Comparison chart testing

3. Interpretation

Use the chart provided in the box, reading the result from the closest matching image.

How to dispose of dipslides

4. Disposal

Used slides should be incinerated, autoclaved or soaked in disinfectant for several hours before disposal.

Why Should You Use Dipslides?

  • Recommended use by the HSE for the control and monitoring of bacteria
  • Inexpensive – low cost and affordable
  • Easy to use – no training or preparation required
  • Monitoring bacteria to support control of Legionella risk *
  • Convenient
  • Fast results – within 24 to 48 hours
  • A key part of water hygiene control – compliance with ACoP L8
  • Our dipslides are ISO 9001 accredited

* Microbiological dipslides cannot test for Legionella bacteria. View our NEW and innovative 25 minute rapid Legionella bacteria test kit

Hydro-X Store Dipslide Range

Here at the Hydro-X Store we offer a large variety of dip slides to suit all your requirements. Ranging from general purpose dip slides (RBS) to specialist BTM2 dip slides for cooling water systems.

All of our dipslides are easy to use and come with a flexible easy grip handle. Each box of dip slides includes helpful instructions on product care, understanding results and a comparison chart. The comparison chart helps to easily interpret the results obtained from dip slide testing.

Dipslide CodeSide 1 AgarSide 2 AgarMain IndustryTypical Use
RBSTTCRose BengalGeneral PurposeGeneral Purpose
R2AR2A & TTCR2A & TTCDental Hygiene IndustryWater Testing
SCTPlat Count & TTCMacConkey No.3Food IndustryPoultry, Dairy, Pharmaceutical, Biomedical, Water
TVPlat Count & NeutralisersVRGB & NeutralisersFood IndustryFood Safety, Dairy, farming
BT2Nutrient & TTCNutrient & TTCGeneral PurposeWater Hygiene Industries, Classroom
BTM2Nutrient & TTCMalt ExtractGeneral Purpose’Fuel bug’, Cooling Towers, Boiler Feed Water, Cutting Fluids


All dip slides require a period of incubation in a specialist incubator.

The time required varies depending on the type of dipslide, but is normally between 24 and 72 hours. After the incubation period has passed, the results comparison chart should be used to interpret the results.

Our most popular incubator is the GNAT MX2 incubator. This is a small compact incubator which has the capacity to hold two standard dip slides.

Money-Saving Dipslide Bacteria Test Kits

Hydro-X Store also offers a range of dipslide starter kits. Our test kits have been specially selected to be the perfect starter kits, so you can start testing straight away, and save money!

Some of our most popular test kits are:

General Purpose Bacteria Test Kit

The bacteria test kit is a perfect starter kit and includes:

Cutting Fluid Bacteria Test Kit

This bacteria test kit is used to monitor the number of bacteria present, as well as yeasts and mould levels of metal-working cutting fluids.

It is important to test cutting fluids weekly as high levels of bacteria will degrade the fluid quality.

This bacteria test kit includes:


It is a requirement of the HSE’S ACoP L8 that training is required to use dipslides and showerhead plus for water safety compliance. Please click below to learn moreRead More »

Need Any Help?

Tel:    01909 666 708
Email:    onlinesales@hydro-x.co.uk

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Price Match Guarantee
On Comparable Items *

Full Range Of Dipslides
And Water Hygiene Control Supplies

Our Best-Selling Dip Slides

  1. Rose Bengal – Great value general purpose dipslide -tests for bacteria & moulds
  2. BTM2 – The industry’s choice for testing of Cooling Towers, Cutting Fluids, HVAC systems
  3. Dental R2A – Extra sensitive double test – ideal for Dental Practices or other healthcare environments
  4. MacConkey Agar – Designed for the Food Industry, Pharmaceutical, Beauty, testing for coliform bacteria

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