The finishing.com Hotline: Serious Education ... plus the most fun you can have in metal finishing. Ted Mooney, Webmaster
How can I generate silver tarnish
My son wants to do a science project on REMOVING silver tarnish. Now we need to know how to rapidly GENERATE it. Any ideas?Carol Parker
- Durham, North Carolina
Easy question. Eat one boiled egg with one silver spoon. Wash the spoon in the normal way. They will always tarnish. Problem. As I have fallen on hard times for many years and now eat my eggs with stainless steel spoons, I am afraid that I can not remember just how long it takes for them to tarnish. About the only thing I do remember is that it seemed very fast at the time. Probably a few days at the most. I am sure that many sulfur containing compounds will do the same thing. How about photographic hypo (I think that is sodium metabisulphate). Good luckJohn Holroyd
- Elkhorn, Wisconsin
If you could get one of those 1000 year old eggs which are common fare for the chinese, you could tarnish silver fast. A friend of mine bought one for me to eat, as much as I tried, I could not bring the egg within 2 inches of my face, the strength of the sulfide smell was completely overpowering to me. She didn't have any trouble with eating the egg, which amazed me.
Falls Township, Pennsylvania
Boil an egg, let cool, mash the egg yolk with your silver metal, fork-spoon-dish-whatever, place it in a sealed plastic baggie and put in the refrigerator overnight--both the silver and the yolk-and you will have a black silver tarnish in the AM. Two days for a heavier tarnish, or two eggs. Feed the residue to the dog or cat.James Watts
- Navarre, Florida
You can also see letter 1178 for a lot more discussion. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
For my psychology class, I want to bring in a mirror for my public statement, but I want to make it tarnish overnight so that I can slowly rub away the tarnish in front of the class as a symbol of perfection and how everything's perfect on the inside. How can I make my silver hand mirror tarnish overnight?Kristin S.
student - Lakewood, Ohio
April 18, 2011
Liver of Sulfur, an inexpensive compound warmed and mixed with water, is used by silver smiths to produce a dark patina in a matter of minutes. Liver of sulfur can be purchased from a jewelers supply, or possibly from your local jeweler. If you are lucky, the jeweler may even give you a small piece, as he probably doesn't use it very often.Bill Lichirie
- Atlanta, Georgia, USA