To remove a stain...

of methyl-3-nitrobenzoate.

I got some on my hand during an organic lab yesterday, and although there is no concern for my health because of this, I have a penny-sized yellow spot on my knuckle and it looks silly, and I want it gone. Nothing I have tried seems to work - not household soaps, dishwashing soap, anything. In the lab I even got acetone on it, and that didn’t do anything either. So how to make it go away? Does anyone know? I know it’ll just fade away with time as the skin gets sloughed off, but until then, my hand is YELLOW! I don’t want to be yellow!

Can anyone help, or am I resigned to yellow-freakdom for the next while? :slight_smile:

I’m not familar w/methyl-3-nitrobenzoate of the top of my head and I don’t have a copy of the Merck Index handy, but a lot of chemical stains can’t be washed off.

Since you say it not a health problem (and I’d check that to your own satisfaction), be resigned to the stain sloughing off–it dosen’t take that long. I, and I’m sure other people on the board, have had the same experience.

If you want to get in touch with your feminine side, try covering the stain with some flesh colored makeup.
If you’re a He-man…try a belt sander.

I looked in an old organic lab textbook that’s on my shelf and it sounds like you were doing an eletrophilic aromatic substitution experiment, whatever, but the clean up protocol sez to neutralize with Na carbonate (probably too late) and flush the filtrate down the drain with methanol.

I don’t feel like reading the whole damn thing, and the flush the stuff down the drain thing tells you how old this is (EPA alert), but what the hell, try methanol, it can’t be as bad on your skin as acetone.

I’m just glancing at this protocol without reading fully; ask your Organic professor what to do; it’s his job to safeguard his students. And wear appropriate gloves in future labs if this a concern to you.

Yes, it was electrophilic substitution. Waste of a good two hours, if you ask me. Especially since we don’t DO anything with the product!

Thanks for the responses. Pretty much what I thought people would say, I suppose. I’m not really concerned about this kind of thing (not to the point of wearing gloves) and I did all the proper safety stuff to clean it. It just still left a stain. People keep asking me about it and I just thought if I could get rid of it, I wouldn’t have to say the words “organic lab” over and over again. I wonder if I can just draw on it and pretend its a tattoo…?

I think this is heading for MPSIMS…

yeah, if you’re only going to take Organic once in your life and never work in a lab, then don’t sweat it.

For those of us that do work in labs with nasty chemicals, proper gloves do come in handy (pun intended).

Lemon juice works with nicotine stains, might be worth a try. Another old time remedy is made with 2 teaspoons ammonia with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Then add 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon rain water. Bottle and store in dark place. Apply to stains. Let dry and remove by washing hands.

I once spashed some acid (nitric?) on my hand, and turned it yellow. I looked up what could be done, and I found that I could do nothing. The “stain” was actual damage to my skin cells in the epidermis just above the dermal level, with the residue of that damage left behind. This stuff, xanthic-something-or-other, was yellowish. Washing wouldn’t help, as it was several layers down. I just had to wait for my skin to shed several layers of skin, then I was back to my AWB-self. :D:D

I don’t know nothin’ about no chemicals, but if you want to slough the skin a little faster, try a paste of baking soda and a drop of lemon juice. Or, if you have it, Soft Scrub with Bleach. Rub it gently into the spot and it’ll take the top layer of skin off. If the stain goes deeper than one layer of skin, then repeat as needed – but wait a day or so in between times. You don’t want to slough a hole in your hand.

Try Freeman’s foot scrub with pumice in it. That takes off most skin stains. It’s like scrubbing with steel wool.