Homemade silver Christmas decorations
How to make a silvery decoration with a glass bottle
Here you can find a “silver” experiment!
- Warning! Observe safety rules when working with these substances.
- Wear protective gloves, glasses and a mask.
Reagents and equipment
- Tollens' reagent;
- glucose solution;
- glass bottle.
Pour Tollens' reagent and glucose solution into a glass bottle. Mix the solution thoroughly and shake periodically until the bottle starts to become covered with a thin layer of silver. Pour the solution out and rinse the bottle with water. You get the original silver bottle!
Glucose is an organic compound that, due to its structural features, can be used as a reducing agent, as it is in the "silver mirror" reaction. If you mix Tollens’ reagent (or ammonia silver oxide solution) with a glucose solution in any vessel, then the vessel walls will soon be covered with a thin layer of metallic silver, forming a mirror.
2[Ag(NH₃)₂]OH + 3H₂O + C₆H₁₂O₆ → 2Ag↓+ 4NH₃∙H₂O + C₆H₁₂O₇
A similar method is still used by some small workshops to make Christmas ornaments.
You can find many more interesting experiments in the MEL Chemistry subscription!