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Schmorl’s Alum Hematoxylin

Schmorl's Alum Hematoxylin



Hematoxylin5 gDye
Ammonium alum100 gMordant
Distilled water1 LSolvent
100% ethanol60 mLSolvent

Compounding Procedure

  1. Dissolve the hematoxylin in the ethanol.
  2. Dissolve the Alum in the water.
  3. Combine the solutions and mix well.
  4. 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

  • Nuclei  –  blue
  • Background  –  as counterstain or unstained


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

Safety Note

Prior to handling any chemical, consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for proper handling and safety precautions.


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