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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Troubleshooting Guidance for Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) Stain. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Tap Water versus Deionized Water

Depending on geographical location, water quality can be quite variable. Fluorination, pH, or other minerals present can impact not only how the dyes are picked up by the tissue, but also the life of the dyes. Because hematoxylin, for example, is slightly acidic, a basic pH tap water can raise the pH of the hematoxylin, making is less effective. If the tap water quality is poor or variable, the use of deionized (DI) water is a great option. Just remember to make sure the DI water pressure is sufficient for your platform stainer.