Carbol Fuchsin Variants

Suitable Dyes

Dye CI # Dye CI #
Basic fuchsin 42510 New fuchsin 42520
Night blue 44085 Victoria blue R 44040
Auramine O 41000 Rhodamine B 45170



Name Dye Phenol Ethanol Water Other
Ziehl Basic fuchsin 1 g 5 g 90%, 10 mL 100 mL  
Albrecht Basic fuchsin 4 g 8 g 95%, 20 mL 100 mL  
Davalos Basic fuchsin 10 g 5 g Abs, 1 mL 100 mL  
Goodpasture Basic fuchsin 0.5 g 1 g 95%, 20 mL 80 mL Aniline, 1 mL
Huntoon Basic fuchsin 0.6 g 3.75 g   75 mL Glycerol, 25 mL
Kinyoun Basic fuchsin 4 g 8 mL 95%, 20 mL 100 mL Molten phenol
Muller Basic fuchsin 4 g 8 g 95%, 20 mL 100 mL Tergotol 7, 0.1 mL
Pottenger Basic fuchsin 1.6 g 5 g 95%, 15 mL 80 mL  
Verhoeff Basic fuchsin 2 g 25 mL Abs, 50 mL   Molten phenol
Other Dyes
Fite New fuchsin 0.5 g 5 g   90 mL Methanol, 10 mL
Putt New fuchsin 1 g 5 g   90 mL Methanol, 10 mL
Tilden New fuchsin 0.5 g 5 g   90 mL Methanol, 10 mL
Lillie Night blue 1 g 5 g Abs, 10 mL 90 mL  
Lillie Victoria blue R 1 g 5 g Abs, 10 mL 90 mL  
Kuper May Auramine O
Rhodamine B
1.5 g
0.75 g
10 mL 95%, 20 mL 50 mL Glycerol, 75 mL.
Molten phenol


Different instructions have been given for compounding. Ziehl's solution is prepared according to instruction #1. Others specify instructions similar to #2. Verhoeff's follows #3.

  1. Grind the dye with the phenol using a pestle and mortar. Add the ethanol in small amounts while grinding to dissolve the dye, collecting the dissolved dye each time. When all the dye is dissolved, add the water in several small amounts. Wash out the mortar each time and collect the washings. Filter before using.
  2. Dissolve the dye in the ethanol and the phenol in the water. When both are dissolved, combine and mix well. Filter before use.
  3. Combine all the ingredients. Place in a 60°C oven overnight. Cool and filter.

Phenol has a density of 1.07 grams per mL. Melting phenol and measuring volumetrically compared to simply weighing gives a difference of 7%. This is not likely to cause staining failures. As an example, Ziehl's formula requires 5 grams phenol, but if 5 mL is measured volumetrically the amount used would be 5.35 grams. In most cases this difference is likely insignificant. An exception would be Verhoeff's as 25 mL molten phenol equates to 26.75 grams.

Because of the high ethanol content an open flame should not be used with Verhoeff's solution.


Gray, Peter. (1954)
The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide. p.
Originally published by:– The Blakiston Co.
Republished by:– Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.

Culling, C.F.A., Alison, R.T. and Barr, W.T. (1985)
Cellular Pathology Technique, 4th ed.
Butterworths, London, UK.

Putt, F.A., (1972)
Manual of histopathological staining methods
John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, USA

Humason, G.L., (1967)
Animal Tissue Techniques
W.H. Freeman & Co., San Francisco, CA, USA

Lillie, R.D.,
Histopathologic Technic and Practical Histochemistry
McGraw-Hill, New York, USA




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