Silver, the Incredible Metal

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Silver is one of mining products and generally known to make coins, silverware, and jewelry. In fact, silver is used to make many things due to its unique properties. It has the best thermal and electrical conductor among all metals. It is also have good corrosion and oxidation resistant. The best part : silver is anti-microbial and non-toxic so it is usually used in medical and many consumer products. Even better, it is more widely available and relatively cheap than others.

So, what are other uses of silver, except the three mentioned above? Check the list below!

Treating warts and corns

Known as a caustic pencil which contains a mixture of silver nitrate and potassium nitrate, can destroy unwanted tissue like warts/skin tags.


Media storage

A layer of silver on DVD can improve its lifetime as media storage device due to silver’s resistance to pitting and tarnishing and improve disc’s reflectivity.


Personal deodorant

Silver is used in particular personal deodorants due to its antimicrobial properties to delay the onset of body odor.


Keeping milk safe

Before refrigerator was invented, silver-coated jugs and jars were used to keep liquids fresh. Cowboys of Wild West even put a silver coin in milk to prolong its life. Silver can kill microbes and keep milk safe from harmful bacteria.


Long life batteries

Silver oxide batteries now power everything from watches, hearing aids, digital cameras, mobile phone, etc. The batteries are more expensive than other, but they give up to 40% more run-time than other and much smaller and lighter.



Ball bearings electroplated with silver is used in many engine types due to silver’s high melting point. It can also reduce friction, improve performance and increase engine’s lifetime.


Stained glass

Silver has been used to make stained glass since 14th century, mixed with clay, gum or turpentine.


3D printing

Silver can used to make flexible screens, LED lights and interposer connection. To make small item (such as customization of silver jewelry), 3D printing uses inks made up of silver nano particles.


Antimicrobial lab coats

The lab coats which embedded with special silver based compound can prevent cross-infection by doctors and staff of dangerous microorganisms.


Touch screen gloves

Silver-bonded fabric can help you to use smartphone in freezing-cold.


Water purification

NASA astronauts drink water purified by ionized silver.


Help to stop smoking

Silver acetate is used in several potential aids in smoking cessation products, such as chewing gum, mouth spray and lozenges. When mixed with cigarette smoke, the silver acetate produces unpleasant taste.


Laundry Detergent

Silver ions in detergent help to kill bacteria and eliminate odors at the same time.



Silver is used to help produce ingredients of plastics, polyester, insulating handles for cookers, housings for electrical connectors, and key tops on computer keyboards.


Wood preservation

Silver in biocide is now applied in wood preservatives which it may prevent white-rot decay in timber, may help replace harmful arsenic-based treatments completely and reduce termite infestations.


Automotive industry

Electrical contacts coated with silver is used in vehicles: engine to power-operated windows, automatic boot doors, distance sensors, advanced driver assistance systems for automatic parking and conductive lines on rear window to melt frost and ice in winter.


Novelty explosives

Also known as “bang snaps”, contain a tiny quantity of a compound silver fulminate (AgCNO) (to detonates when the snap is thrown onto hard surface). Silver fulminate itself has a tendency to self-detonate under its own height, so it can only be stored in small quantities.



In the old days, silver halide (AgX) crystals is used in photography to leave a latent image on the film, so it can be developed into photograph.


Weather modification

Commonly known as “cloud seeding”, using silver iodide, which has very similar molecular structure to ice, to increase and encourage cloud condensation.


Solar panels

Silver is a vital component of solar panels because of its high electrical and thermal conductivity.


Food garnishing

Silver foil is widely used in South Asian cuisine, often to garnish sweets and other delicacies. The foil is known as “vark” with no flavor and considered harmless for health in small quantities.

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