Papamiltiades' Alum Hematoxylin

Ingredient Amount Function
Hematoxylin 4 g Dye
Aluminum sulphate 10 g Mordant
Distilled water 900 mL Solvent
Zinc sulphate 5 g
Potassium iodide 4 g Stabiliser
Glacial acetic acid 32 mL Acidifier
Glycerol 100 mL Stabiliser


Compounding procedure
Dissolve the hematoxylin in 400 mL water.
Dissolve the aluminum sulphate in 200 mL water.
Dissolve the zinc sulphate in 100 mL water.
Dissolve the potassium iodide in 100 mL water.
Combine the four solutions, then add the acetic acid and glycerol.
The solution may be used immediately, and is stable for about two months.


  1. Bring sections to water with xylene and ethanol.
  2. Place into the staining solution for an appropriate time.
  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. The solution is progressive.
  2. The purpose of the zinc sulphate and potassium iodide are not clear.
  3. The staining time should be determined by trial.
  4. 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.


Putt, F.A.
Manual of Histopathological Staining Methods
John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY., USA




Translate in
Google Translate