Schmorl's Alum Hematoxylin

Ingredient Amount Function
Hematoxylin 5 g Dye
Ammonium alum 100 g Mordant
Distilled water 1 L Solvent
100% ethanol 60 mL Solvent


Compounding procedure
Dissolve the hematoxylin in the ethanol.
Dissolve the Alum in the water.
Combine the solutions and mix well.
Leave at room temperature to ripen.


  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. The hematoxylin content indicates this solution is likely a strong regressive type.
  2. The staining time should be determined by trial.
  3. Acid ethanol is 0.5% - 1% hydrochloric acid in 70% ethanol.
  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.


Lillie, R.D., (1954)
Histopathologic technique and practical histochemistry Ed.2
Blakiston, New York, USA.




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