Re: salt printing questions

From: Joe Smigiel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/22/05-03:26:37 PM Z
Message-id: <>

>>> 10/21/05 9:41 AM >>>
>>...How do you clean silver nitrate stains off your

Hi Chris,

Although I can't remember the source, I read somewhere last week that
silver nitrate stains could be removed removed from surfaces using a
solution of sodium bisulfite. No solution strength was specified. I
remember this because I have some sodium and potassium metabisulfite
around and thought I'd give it a try since bisulfites have been
discussed on this list in the past as a substitute for those two
chemicals in reference to being used as a clearing agent of chromium
stains in the gum bichromate process.

Some of the old wetplate collodion books nonchalantly recommend removing
silver nitrate stains from hands using a solution of the *extremely
lethal* potassium cyanide fixing agent. Warning Will Robinson!
Warning!!! From pre-OSHA times I quote Ellis ("The Photographic
Instructor",1856, p. 13): "The nitrate of Silver Solution will stain the
hands quite black when exposed to the light, but the stains may be
easily removed by rubbing the spots with Cyanide of Potassium while the
hands are wet, and afterwards wash in pure water." I wonder how many
wetplate photographers dropped dead from doing so? Definitely not
recommended! A situation where I'd prefer to live with the stain. (sic)

A couple weeks ago after doing some wetplate I ended up with so much
silver nitrate on my hands that they turned black and had a metallic
shine to them. It wore off completely in about ten days, but until it
did I got the oddest looks from store clerks whenever I went to pay them
and receive change. I have found that cleaning glass plates with a
whiting (calcium carbonate) and Everclear solution hastens the removal
of the nitrate stains, I assume largely due to fine abrasion of the

Received on Sat Oct 22 15:21:53 2005

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