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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 luck

John 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.

Tom Pullizzi
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

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Hi, Carol.

You can also see letter 1178 for a lot more discussion. Good luck.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Brick, 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
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