How to Remove Silver Nitrate Stains from Skin

Silver nitrate stains on your skin? Well, it’s clear that it’s a kind of chemical substance. But how can you get them on your skin? The most likely reason is that it’s a chemical substance that’s used for developing photographs and for medical procedures. And once it touches your skin, it will turn gray or black in a matter of a few hours. Waiting too long will make it harder if not impossible to remove. The trick is in catching it early and knowing the right method of removing it once you do. Read on to know what to do.

Steps to Remove Silver Nitrate Stains from Skin

Getting silver nitrate stains on the skin might cause some alarm. After all, silver nitrate is a chemical substance that is used for photograph processes. However, some would recognize that it is also used for treating wounds and burns. But whatever its use, it does stain the skin. The real concern then would be how to get silver nitrate stains out of the skin.

The following is the process involved in removing silver nitrate stains from the skin. Keep in mind that it becomes virtually impossible to remove once it fully develops. So the timing needs to be right since you need to catch the stain as you as it gets on your skin. 

  Best Hand Lotion for Dry Hands

Step 1: You will need to use household ammonia. Pour one to two teaspoons of it on the affected and stained area of the skin. 

Step 2: Get a clean piece of cloth. Use it to scrub the affected area carefully and firmly with the cloth to make sure that silver nitrate stain is removed.

Step 3: Rinse the piece of cloth carefully and thoroughly using clean water. Then you will have to apply one teaspoon of liquid hand soap to the piece of cloth.

Step 4: Make sure that the cloth is very soapy. Once you are sure that it is soapy enough, you will use it to scrub the skin firmly. Doing this would help you remove any and all residual traces of the silver nitrate. It will also remove any trace of the ammonia left.

Step 5: Get a clean towel. Use it to wipe the skin dry. 


Common Questions About Silver Nitrate Stains

Why Does Silver Nitrate Stain Skin?

Silver nitrate can definitely stain the skin. The reason for that is that silver nitrate is an oxidant. And because human skin is made up of proteins it can easily be oxidized and that will cause it to turn to black. And the black color is because of the decomposition of the silver nitrate into elemental silver. The particles of silver are so small and microscopic that they do not reflect light but absorb it instead. So the result is that it would black and not silver anymore. It should be noted that silver nitrate does not really stain at first, especially if the amount is minimal. The skin simply absorbs it. But if the amount is substantial, then you can expect stains to appear shortly.

  How to remove urine stains from underwear (+video)

Is Silver Nitrate Bad for Your Skin?

So is silver nitrate bad for your skin? You need to know that it is not just used for photographs. It is also actually used as a prescription topical solution for the treatment of burns and wounds on the skin. But if it is applied repeatedly to the skin, it is going to cause a gray, jet-black, or blue-black discoloration. The discoloration is caused by the silver nitrate’s silver component. Apart from the discoloration and some burning and irritation, silver nitrate is not usually harmful to the skin. In addition to those mentioned, silver nitrate might also cause a cold sensation when it is applied to the skin.

What is the Effect of Silver Nitrate on the Skin?

Like we said above, silver nitrate is not really harmful to the skin. Since it is also used as a prescription topical treatment for wounds and burns on the skin, it can be viewed as having the opposite effect. If silver nitrate is used continuously on the skin, it is bound to produce gray or jet-black discolorations or stains. That cannot be considered as a bad effect and if treated right away, could be solved pretty much immediately. Silver nitrate has other effects that cannot really be considered as harmful but come close to it. Those effects are feelings of burning and irritation on the skin. You could also add getting a cold sensation as another effect of silver nitrate on the skin.


Silver nitrate stains are never going to sound like good news, ever. It will always be a problem for anyone who gets affected by it. Especially since it becomes almost impossible to remove once it develops or left on the skin for too long. We cannot emphasize enough that the key to removing it completely is through acting quickly. So when you get silver nitrate stains on your skin, do something about it as fast as possible.

  How to remove dirt stains from skin

Recent Posts