The purpose of dispersion is to destroy all aggregates without affecting the size of the individual particles. Dispersion procedures used or recommended for soils or sediments are reviewed in terms of their contributions to this end. The general subject of dispersion is then related to the underlying principles, and a group of procedures which most nearly accord with these principles are experimentally compared. From the results obtained, a general routine of dispersion for fine-grained sediments is offered. The routine is arranged in two sequences, and includes soaking in water, rubbing with a brush, shaking, heating to boiling, and washing out foreign electrolytes. The particular sequence used, and the steps involved, depend on the nature of the sediment.