How to store agarose gels

Do you like to cast your electrophoresis gels in advance to save time? In this post, we will walk through basic considerations for storing agarose gels.

Store gels in an airtight container


  • It’s important to keep your gels from drying out during storage. 
  • The easiest way to accomplish this is to store agarose gels in an airtight container with a gasket. You can also wrap your gels with plastic wrap, or use a zip-sealing bag.
  • It is unnecessary to add any buffer for gel storage. In fact, if your gels were made with a DNA stain, storing them in liquid can cause the stain to diffuse out of the gel. 


  • Gels made without DNA stain are stable at room temperature. 
  • If your gels were made with a DNA stain, storage temperature depends on which stain you used. Gels made with GelGreen® or SeeGreen stains from miniPCR are stable at room temperature.
  • Storing GelGreen gels in the fridge is not recommended, as cold temperatures can make the DNA stain precipitate.

Light exposure 

  • Gels made without DNA stain may be stored in light or dark environments.
  • If your gels were made with a fluorescent DNA stain, they should be stored in the dark. Fluorescent DNA stains such as SeeGreen are sensitive to light, and their efficacy may diminish with light exposure. If your storage container is clear, keep it in a cabinet or cover it with something opaque (foil works well). 

Storage time 

  • Storage time depends on the DNA stain you are using. 
  • Gels made without a DNA stain can be stored for at least one week.
  • When stored under the conditions described above (i.e., in a dark, airtight container at ambient temperature), gels made with GelGreen or SeeGreen are stable for at least three days. 

Related resources:


GelGreen® is a registered trademark of Biotium. SeeGreen is a trademark of miniPCR bio.

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