Coleman's Schiff Reagent


Ingredient Amount
Pararosanilin 1 g
Distilled water 100 mL
Potassium metabisulphite 1 g
Hydrochloric acid, 1N 4 mL
Activated charcoal (powder) 0.25 g

Dissolve the dye into the water. Add the Potassium metabisulphite. Add the acid, and leave in the dark for 24 hours. Add the activated charcoal and shake for about a minute. Filter. Store at 0-5°C in a tightly stoppered bottle.


  1. Lillie used sodium metabisulphite instead of potassium metabisulphite.
  2. The solution should be colourless or very pale amber. Brown solutions will often stain poorly. Usually these have been made from a batch of basic fuchsin containing too little pararosanilin.


Gray, Peter. (1954)
The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide.
Originally published by:– The Blakiston Co.
Republished by:– Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.
    Coleman, (1928). Stain technology, v. 13, p. 123.




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