Harris & Power's Alum Hematoxylin

Ingredient Amount Function
Hematoxylin 20 g Dye
Potassium alum 60 g Mordant
Distilled water 100 mL Solvent
100% ethanol 6 mL Solvent


Compounding procedure
Mix the Alum and hematoxylin in a mortar.
Add the water, little by little, while grinding the mixture.
Filter, and add the ethanol.


  1. Bring sections to water with xylene and ethanol.
  2. Place into the staining solution for an appropriate time.
  3. Rinse well with water.
  4. Differentiate with acid ethanol if necessary.
  5. Rinse with water and blue.
  6. Rinse well with water.
  7. Counterstain if desired.
  8. Dehydrate with ethanol, clear with xylene and mount with a resinous medium.

Expected results


  1. This very strong mixture should, presumably, be left to ripen for some time.
  2. Its characteristics and recommended use were not given.
  3. The staining time should be determined by trial.
  4. Acid ethanol is 0.5% - 1% hydrochloric acid in 70% ethanol.
  5. Blueing is done with alkaline solutions such as hard tap water, Scott’s tap water substitute, 0.1% ammonia water, 1% aqueous sodium acetate, 0.5% aqueous lithium carbonate etc.


Gray, Peter. (1954)
The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide.
Originally published by:– The Blakiston Co.
Republished by:– Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.




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