A complete handling procedure for processing sediment samples is described. It includes some improvements of conventional methods. The fixed sediment sample is mixed with a solution of the alkaline detergent AJAX® (Colgate-Palmolive). It is kept at 80-900 C for 20-40 min. This treatment facilitates subsequent sorting as it disaggregates clay concretions and faecal pellets ·but leaves even fragile organisms clean and unaffected. The ammonia in the detergent eliminates the formalin smell.