Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Silver nitrate stains: what doesn't work

  1. Apr 14, 2013 #1
    As a science teacher, I also had the unfortunate experience of getting silver nitrate on my hands. As you know, it stains a horrible brown/black colour and is difficult to remove. I would just like to share with my fellow scientists what doesn't work:
    1.) Washing your hands with water, no matter how HOT it is
    2.) Washing your hands with salt water
    3.) Scrubbing
    4.) Ethanol, acetone or nail polish remover
    5.) Dettol
    6.) Soap
    7.) Licking it

    And finally, I would like to add that that myth about it going away naturally after 3 or 4 days really is a myth. I've had it on my hands for a week now. It just gets a bit lighter.

    So what does work? Tatooing your whole hand to hide the stain ;)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2013 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    From my own experience no method works in no time. The only thing that works is time - but it takes its time.
  4. Apr 17, 2013 #3
    I've had skin peeling with this stuff. It's not called lunar caustic for nothing!

    It must be silver grains or silver sulphide or similar. I even tried the old ferricyanide bleaching followed by thiosulphate and that did not shift it.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook