The use and practicability of microwave-assisted staining procedures in routine histopathology has been well established for more than 17 years. In the study reported here, we aimed to examine an alternative approach that would shorten the duration of dewaxing and clearing steps of hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) staining of paraffin sections by using a microwave oven. Although xylene is one of the most popular dewaxing and clearing agents, its flammability restricts its use in a microwave oven; thus we preferred 1,1,1 trichloroethane, which is not flammable, as the dewaxing and clearing agent in the present study. In Group I and Group II (control groups), intestine was processed with xylene and 1,1,1 trichloroethane, respectively. The sections were then stained with H & E according to the conventional staining protocol at room temperature and subdivided into two groups according to the duration of dewaxing and clearing in xylene. In Groups III and IV (experimental groups) similar tissues were processed with xylene and 1,1,1 trichloroethane, respectively; however, sections from these groups were divided into four subgroups to study the period required for dewaxing and clearing in 1,1,1 trichloroethane, then stained with H & E in the microwave oven at 360 W for 30 sec. Our conventional H & E staining procedure, which includes dewaxing, staining and clearing of sections, requires approximately 90 min, while our method using 1,1,1 trichloroethane and microwave heating required only 2 min. Our alternative method for H & E staining not only reduced the procedure time significantly, but also yielded staining quality equal or superior to those stained the conventional way. Our results suggest that 1,1,1 trichloroethane can be used effectively and safely as a dewaxing and clearing agent for H & E staining in a microwave oven. © Biological Stain Commission.