The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Routine H&E Staining. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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The Bluing Step

One of the steps in the H&E procedure is bluing. As the name implies, this step converts the initial soluble red color of the hematoxylin within the nucleus to an insoluble blue color. The alkaline pH of the bluing solution causes the mordant dye-lake to reform in the tissue and become more permanent. Some examples of bluing solutions include:

  • Ammonia water
  • Dilute lithium carbonate
  • Scott's tap water (potassium carbonate, magnesium sulphate, and water)