This study comprises a search for a replacement for cotton wool (also called cotton batting) stoppers within spirit collections. It briefly explores relevant published literature and documents a three-year experiment to test the durability of plastic lids, inert foam, and parafilm, within ethanol, IDA, and formalin. Following visual observations and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy the study concludes that Parafilm M™ is unsuitable for long-term use but Plastazote® bungs and polyethylene lids are suitable for vials within glass-lidded jars. The study should aid curators making decisions regarding suitable storage and transportation of spirit collections and prevent future damage of delicate specimens.

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