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.
Pour 1 tsp. of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide into a small bowl. Add 1 tsp. plain, white toothpaste and stir gently.
Dab the paste onto the stain with a soft, dry cloth. Wait five minutes.
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.
Mix 1/4 tsp. household ammonia into 1 tsp. 3 percent hydrogen peroxide.
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.