Hansen's Iron Hematoxylin

Ingredient Amount Function
Hematoxylin 0.75 g Dye
Ferric ammonium sulphate 4.5 g Mordant
Distilled water 100 mL Solvent


Compounding procedure
Dissolve the iron alum in 65 mL of the water.
Dissolve the hematoxylin in the remaining water.
Combine the solutions and bring to the boil.
Cool and filter.


  1. Bring sections to water with xylene and ethanol.
  2. Place into the staining solution for an appropriate time.
  3. Rinse with tap water.
  4. Treat briefly in 1% hydrochloric acid in 70% ethanol.
  5. Wash well in running tap water to blue.
  6. Rinse with distilled water.
  7. Counterstain if desired.
  8. Dehydrate with ethanol, clear with xylene and mount with a resinous medium.

Expected results


  1. The stability of the solution is not given, but the simplicity of the formula indicates it would not be stable for too long.
  2. Although a staining time was not given, 30 minutes should be sufficient. Determine by trial.


Gray, Peter. (1954)
The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide.
Originally published by:– The Blakiston Co.
Republished by:– Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.
    Hansen, (1905)
    Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Mikroskopie und für mikroskopische Technik,
     v.22, p.55. Leipzig.



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