How to oxidize silver at home (Easy trick)

How to oxidize silver

Today we are going to do the opposite of what we usually do. Instead of trying to keep the silver pieces from oxidizing, I will show you how to oxidize the silver in your jewelry or any article of this metal and make them oxidize to the maximum. 

We will get a total oxide effect in pieces that at first are or look in perfect condition but after applying this technique will be as if time had passed.

This trick is ideal if you like to collect coins and/or if you just like the old look of your silver pieces. 

As you know, silver is a noble metal so it does not react like other elements, it can not oxidize, for that reason, we can not use any product or method to achieve this result.

There are several products specially created to oxidize silver, but here we will show you directly how to oxidize silver at home.  

Well, enough promises, let’s oxidize!

Find out how to oxidize silver

Before we begin, silver, in contact with air, water, or chemicals such as chlorine, bleach, and others can accelerate color change or blackening.

That is why we choose the best method, the use of chlorine or bleach. This product is ideal to apply on metal and achieve the result of oxidation.

Anyway the darkening of silver with chlorine, contrary to what people believe, is not oxidation but sulfidation, although it is commonly called oxidation, and leaves the same result on silver.

It also works for oxidized sterling silver.

You’ll need: 

  • Chlorine (it can be bleach)
  • Porcelain or glass container.
  • Gloves.
  • Tweezers
  • Nail file or Sandpaper

Oxidize silver: Step by step

silver clocks

First of all put on gloves, you must always have protection, especially if you are going to use chemicals. Also, don’t forget to always try to do your crafts in open or ventilated places. 

Once you are ready, place your silver objects on a glass or porcelain container (the important thing in this type of material is that it will not be corroded by the chlorine chemical and you will be safer), then place the chlorine until the object or objects are covered and leave them submerged until they take a black color or are dark enough. 

You can check the darkening process with tweezers, remove the object from the container, and see if it is really taking the effect you want. 

This process can take at least 15 minutes, but everything will depend on the dark tone you want to achieve in your silver object.  

You can also leave your silver in another container in water for a few minutes (after the bleach) and you will instantly verify this excellent technique of how to tarnish silver in an easy, economical and safe way. 

Try not to bring the silver near your face and do not inhale the fumes of this method. The use of chlorine or bleach, as we said, is always better in airy places.

If you want to generate some more design, or if your jewelry or silver object has an inscription, you can use a nail file to sand the letters and/or leave clearer parts in the finish of your oxidation. 

As you’ll see it’s a super easy method, that doesn’t damage your silver jewelry at all and only takes a couple of minutes to do.

Something as convenient as that really looks like magic, but it is nothing more than a super effective chemical combination. 

Anyway, if you want, you can tell the kids or whoever you want that it’s a real magic trick!

Dare to experiment with as many silver objects as you want! It can be coins, cutlery, pictures, etc. The oxidizing silver can be done on all of them and will leave according to the design you have in mind, a super natural aging effect. 

Now you definitely know how to oxidize silver and you don’t need any other product or someone to do it for you. 

To see better the step-by-step you can watch this tutorial

Other external agents will also cause your silver to oxidize, for example, humidity, air (as we already said), and salts, so if you want to take care of your silver from further oxidation you can put a varnish over it (after oxidation) to protect your silver from further oxidation. 

You can also take care of your metals from oxidation with kerosene or camellia oil, but we will see that in another tutorial. 

Keep this tip in mind, as it is important to control the oxidation effect and not to ruin your jewelry or your objects. 

As always I hope that all these tips will help you to create and take care of all your fantastic crafts. In this case, as you will see.

When dealing with metals, we have to be a little more attentive and careful, but it is something absolutely easy to handle and silver is an extremely beautiful metal to work with, you can polish it and make it shine or create shades and nuances with this excellent method. 

If you are wondering how you can make it darker, well you know absolutely everything about how to oxidize silver.  

One caveat is, that if you see that some objects take on a color other than black, that may be because they may have other metals such as copper (if it turns a little green) or iron (if it turns brown or reddish).

How to oxidize silver

I really hope you try with as many objects as you want. That is always the best way to learn and create.

And why not? to show off your jewelry or fancy cutlery at an exquisite dinner. The goal is always that you enjoy all your crafts and use them in any occasion and place.

You can also read this article, How To Make Super Glue Dry Faster With Super Easy Tricks.

Make your silver look luxurious! ✭

See you in the next tutorial!