Here we present an alternative acid-guanidinium-phenol based procedure that effectively bypasses phase separation/precipitation steps with a spin column and specially designed washes. This helps to eliminate problems attributed to phenol carryover that is often associated with conventional organic extraction methods. This new “Direct-zol” procedure maximizes total RNA recovery, including small RNAs, without the need for a carrier. For tough-to-lyse plant and animal tissue the Direct-zol procedure can be combined with our unique BashingBead™ and OneStep inhibitor removal technologies for unparalleled yields and complete removal of polyphenolic inhibitors to RT-PCR, respectively. The Direct-zol procedure delivers DNA-free RNA that is ideal for RT-PCR, RNA-seq (expression profiling), hybridization, etc.