What Happens If You Photocopy A Mirror? (OMG, Crazy Results)

Are you getting bored? I think you have run out of ideas. Do you need more crazy ideas to do? If yes, let’s go crazy. You must have seen others photocopying weird things. But have you ever tried to photocopy a mirror? Have you any idea about the result?

If no, you are not the first person to wonder about its answer. That’s why we have gathered all the related info in this article. So, keep on reading to know more interesting facts about the possible results of photocopying a mirror.

What happens if you photocopy a mirror? If you photocopy a mirror, you will get a dark copy for a rear coated mirror and a clear or white copy for a front coated mirror. It also depends on the type of photocopy machine being used.

No doubt, the photocopy machines are useful appliances. If you would treat them like toys, it might result in constant damage. To satisfy your experimental instinct, just read this article till the end.

What Happens If You Scan a Mirror?

Before going deep into adventure, you might think about what will happen when you scan a mirror? Or what results are possible? Let’s kill curiosity. When you scan a mirror, you won’t get a bright image. Instead, you will get a black copy for a rear coated mirror and a clear or white copy for a front coated mirror.

Normally a photocopy machine generates a copy after reflection of light to the white portion of the document. After the light hits on the white areas of the document, it reflects on the surface of the photoconductive drum.

The illuminated areas of the drum become conductive and discharged to the ground. The black areas of the document remain negatively charged as they are not exposed to light. As a result, a scanned copy is generated on the surface of the drum.

When you place a mirror on the glass bed in the scanner, all the light will reflect and generate a black image. In other words, the reflected light doesn’t hit the detector. So, the angle of incidence becomes equal to the angle of reflection and the result is a dark copy.

Also, if the light source and the sensor are out of the line, the mirror copy will be dark. If both are in line, the copy will be white.

Why do you get a Black Copy When You Photocopy A Mirror?

Whenever you scan a mirror, you won’t get a dark image every time. It also depends on the scanning method of the photocopy machine.

Some analog photocopiers use the charged area development method (CAD) or the “write white” method. In this method, the photoreceptor drum doesn’t attract the toner, that’s why the result is a clear or a saturated white copy.

The Discharged area development (DAD) or “Black write” method is also used in some digital photocopiers. In this method, the discharged area in the photoreceptor greatly attracts the negatively charged toner. The result will be a black paper.

What Happens If You Scan a Mirror

Mostly, the scanners are designed for less reflective, more or less opaque and highly specular materials. On the contrary, the mirrors are highly reflective with no specularity and opaqueness.

How To Photocopy A Mirror?

But why won’t you get a bright image when you photocopy a mirror??? To understand this, you need to be aware of the process of scanning. Or how a scanner works? How to scan a mirror?

Normally, 2 types of scanners are used, charged drum-type or the one with a CCD camera. All the setups work on the same rule with some variations in the result.

  • When the document is placed on the glass bed, the light source illuminates it.
  • The scanning begins and the light source also moves along the track.
  • An angled mirror in the scanner moves with the same speed as the light source. The reflection of the document appears in the angled mirror.
  • It captures the reflection of the document from the angled mirror.
  • Finally, a charged-couple device or CCD reproduces the image from the fixed mirror. You can save the image to the hard drive of your computer.
  • Normally, front coated mirrors are used in photocopy machines to achieve optical distance.

After you understand how a photocopier works, keep reading to know how to photocopy a mirror:

  • Place a mirror on the glass bed in the photocopier machine.
  • Push the “scan” button.
  • The moveable mirror in the scanner notices the base of the photocopier that is black.
  • Finally, you will receive a dark copy of the mirror that is the reflection of the base of the scanner that had been recorded in the moveable mirror. 

Related Questions

What Would Happen if You Put a Mirror in the Scanner?

If you put a rear coated mirror in the scanner, the result will be a dark copy. The reason is that the photocopier delivers the reflection of the document being photocopied. In the case of the mirror, the whole light will reflect to give a dark copy. For the front coated mirror, the light will be scattered producing a clear copy.

What Happens if You Photocopy Water?

If you photocopy water, the result will be an outline of the water puddle that you have out on the glass bed. It will give a wet effect to the paper.

What Happens if You Photocopy Fire?

If you photocopy fire, it can be extremely dangerous. However, even if you try the method that Ceapa cool has used in his video, you will get a clean copy.


Finally, here’s the end of our interesting topic. Photocopying weird things is fun and a good time pass activity. At the same time, it can be extremely dangerous.

If you photocopy a mirror, you will get a dark or clear copy depending on the mirror and photocopier being used.

Some people also try copying water, fire, money, animals and even their face. You should avoid such harmful acts. Also, share the results in the comments below if you have ever tried to copy a mirror.