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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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The Importance of pH

Mild acidity is critical to the shelf life of hematoxylin. Without it, the alkalinity of the tap water rinse will raise the pH such that the dye lake can precipitate, and the color will change from cherry red to purple red. Adding small amounts of acetic acid to the hematoxylin periodically will aid in maintaining appropriate pH and can extend the life of the stain.