Lugol’s Alum Hematoxylin

Iodine Amount Function
Iodine 2 g Oxidant
Potassium iodide 4 g  
Distilled water 100 mL Solvent
Hematoxylin Amount Function
95% ethanol 100 mL Solvent
Hematoxylin 10 g Dye
Alum Amount Function
Potassium alum 6 g Mordant
Distilled water 500 mL Solvent
Working solution Amount
Hematoxylin 1.5 mL
Lugol’s iodine 1.5 mL
Alum 100 mL


Compounding procedure
Make each solution as listed.
Combine as directed above.
Leave 15 minutes before use.


  1. Bring sections to distilled water with xylene and ethanol.
  2. Place into the staining solution for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Rinse with water and blue.
  4. Rinse well with water.
  5. Counterstain if desired.
  6. Dehydrate with ethanol, clear with xylene and mount with a resinous medium.

Expected results


  1. Read these comments on Lugol’s iodine.
  2. The solution is usable for a minimum of one week.
  3. The working solution will stain at least 100 slides.
  4. Since the solution is not acidified, a distilled water rinse before staining will reduce alkaline carry over.
  5. The authors named this solution Lugol’s Hematoxylin.
  6. 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.


Clarke, G. and Dodds, H. M., (1983)
Lugol’s Hematoxylin.
Stain Technology, v 58, Nº 4, p. 232




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