How to get silver nitrate off of your hands

Updated February 21, 2017

Silver nitrate is a mixture of silver and nitrogen that can stain your skin. Silver nitrate is sensitive and it oxidised quickly and easily. If it gets into your hands, it will react with your skin to turn into black or brown particles of silver. These stains are permanent once they soak into your skin, and they will only wear off when your skin particles shed naturally. If you catch the stain quickly you can remove it. You can speed up this process by exfoliating. Prevent this by always wearing gloves with using silver nitrate.

Dissolve 2 tsp salt in 1 cup warm water.

Rub the solution over your skin right after you get silver nitrate on it. Rub vigorously to access even the silver nitrate that soaks deep into your pores. If the silver nitrate has been on your skin for more than 1 minute, this process will not work to remove it.

Rinse the skin with warm water.

Apply a skin exfoliant to the area.

Scrub the exfoliant into the skin with a scrubbing brush. This will help accelerate the rate at which your skin cells turn off to remove the stain from the silver nitrate. Scrub, but don't damage your sin.

Rinse the area with clear water.

Exfoliate and scrub your skin every day to help work the silver nitrate off your skin.


Don't use strong acids that will remove silver nitrate stains, as these can burn your skin and worsen the look of the formerly stained area.

Things You'll Need

  • Salt
  • Exfoliant
  • Scrubbing brush
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About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.