Silver Nitrate Question

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Ihartsoe, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Ihartsoe

    Ihartsoe Member

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    I spilled some silver nitrate on a table, and it stained it. I've been looking for a way of getting it off and haven't found a way yet. Does anyone know how to remove it from a table?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    First of all, be very careful handling silver nitrate. Gloves, eye protection and an apron are necessities. Silver nitrate (silver caustic) was used to cauterize wounds and in surgery in the 19th century, so if you get it in your eyes, it will cause blindness. If you get it on your skin, you may not realize it until it is exposed to daylight and develops out and turns your skin black.

    To remove it from a table, you might have to bleach and fix it in the same way you might bleach a print (potassium ferricyanide, potassium permanganate or potassium dichromate type bleaches), but this might also have an undesirable effect on the table, so test first in someplace that isn't obvious. Potassium permanganate is probably the least hazardous option, and is used in some darkroom tray cleaner formulas.
     
  3. Jordan

    Jordan Member

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    In the past I've removed silver stains from trays with a bit of ferricyanide and thiosulfate in solution with some table salt (an in-situ bleach-reduce solution). This might be an option.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Try fixer first - acidic rapid fix for preference.

    Potassium permanganate belach is probably the least hazardous, but you risk replacing the silver stain with a manganese oxide stain - which can be even more stubborn.
     
  5. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I'm not sure which vendor it is ( maybe Artcraft Chemicals ) that sells a solution that removes silver nitrate stains. But I wouldn't worry to much if you get some stains on your hands. All of us who practice wet-plate walk around with black paws.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If you use acidified permanganate but gently dab the area with fresh solution then use Potassium or Sodium Metabisulphite solution to clear the hopefully still pink stain, follow up with hypo or fixer before finally rinsing. It needs to be done quite soon after the spaillage.

    Ian
     
  7. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    The product is from Photographers Formulary. It is called..Liquid Silver Stain Remover. It is suppose to work very well on sinks, tubs, counter tops, and even clothing.