The reaction between silver chloride and ammonia is written as follows: AgCl+NH3↔[Ag(NH3)2]++Cl-. The silver chloride used for this reaction is solid, while the ammonia and the two resulting compounds are in aqueous form. This reaction demonstrates that the silver(I) chloride precipitate is soluble in aqueous ammonia.
When the silver cation (Ag+) reacts with the chlorine anion (Cl-) in the presence of soluble chlorides such as hydrochloric acid, silver(I) chloride forms as a white precipitate. This precipitate is insoluble in acids such as HNO3 but dissolves in aqueous ammonia, forming a complex ion as noted in the reaction above. If HNO3 or another acid is added after the precipitate has been solubilized, the complex ion is destroyed and silver(I) chloride reprecipitates.