How to Remove a Silver Nitrate Stain With Hydrogen Peroxide

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Things You'll Need

  • 3 percent hydrogen peroxide

  • 1 tsp. white toothpaste

  • ¼ tsp. household ammonia

  • Cotton swabs

Warning

Undiluted hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent; consequently, frequent use can lighten hair and fabrics. While 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution is considered safe for use on the skin, it should not be used near the nose or eyes.

Hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive and effective stain remover.

Silver nitrate is a chemical compound that is used to develop photographic film, dye hair or treat wounds, incisions, scrapes and burns. The colorless crystals turn blackish-gray when exposed to light, leaving unattractive stains behind. Fortunately, silver nitrate is water soluble, which means it can often be removed by placing the affected item in water and allowing it to soak. Stubborn stains can be treated with water-based solvents, such as hydrogen peroxide. When exposed to air and sunlight, peroxide solutions break down into water and oxygen, bubbling and fizzing and dissolving stains in the process.

Step 1

Pour 1 tsp. of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide into a small bowl. Add 1 tsp. plain, white toothpaste and stir gently.

Step 2

Dab the paste onto the stain with a soft, dry cloth. Wait five minutes.

Step 3

Rinse the paste away, then inspect the area. If the stain is lighter, but still visible, repeat Steps 1 through 3; if the stain seems unaffected by the peroxide paste, move on to Step 4.

Step 4

Mix 1/4 tsp. household ammonia into 1 tsp. 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.

Step 5

Dip a cotton swab into the solution, then apply the moist material to any areas of discoloration. Wait five minutes, then rinse. Repeat, if necessary.

references

Lisa Parris

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.