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How to Clean Silver Nitrate

Updated February 21, 2017

Silver nitrate is a potentially dangerous material that can cause stains when left on surfaces too long. Cleaning the material immediately is important to avoiding potential health problems and difficult-to-remove stains. Cleaning the silver nitrate can be simple, depending on the material and the length of time the silver nitrate has sat on the material.

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  1. Sweep the silver nitrate with a broom and move the worst of the material into an appropriate storage container. Glass is typically a good material for storage, but metal containers are appropriate as well.

  2. Rinse the area with distilled water. Silver nitrate is soluble in distilled water. For materials like fabrics, distilled water rinses can be the only necessary step, provided the nitrate is cleaned immediately. If the silver nitrate results in a stain, the cleanup process is difficult and many fabrics must be thrown away.

  3. Apply ammonia to stains on any material besides fabrics. Scrub the area with steel wool or a scrubbing pad until the stain comes off. In most cases, ammonia will remove the stain. Rinse the area free of ammonia. Repeat as necessary.

  4. Dispose of the silver nitrate in the container as dictated by state laws. Waste disposal laws of chemicals varies by state, so check on the disposal laws relating to silver nitrate and dispose of the remaining material accordingly.

  5. Warning

    Wear a face mask, gloves and eye protection. Silver nitrate can irritate the skin and damage your eyes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Storage container
  • Distilled water
  • Ammonia
  • Scrubbing pad or steel wool

About the Author

Helen Jain has been writing online articles since December 2009 for various websites. She has studied English and psychology and hopes to get a Ph.D. in English in the future.

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