Breathe easy! No maddening pop-up, sticky, or floating ads on this site :-)

Home /
Search 🔍
the Site
pub Where the world gathers for
plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989


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 [affil link] 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 & pooky   toms signature
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


Hi, Carol.

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

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - 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

Liver of Sulphur Gel
on eBay or

More Liver of Sulphur Choices
on Amazon and eBay
(as an Amazon Associate
& eBay Partner, earns from qualifying purchases)

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2023, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA