A serendipitiously discovered, extremely simple, fast and previously unreported method for the preparation of symmetrical aliphatic, aromatic and heteroaromatic disulfides is reported. Addition of sulfuryl chloride to an alkyl- or arylthiol in a 1:2 ratio under solvent free conditions or in dichloromethane solution produces the corresponding disulfides in nearly quantitative yields with the concomitant elimination of gaseous SO2 and 2equiv of HCl. Thus, optimally the reaction needs no work-up at all leaving the disulfide as the sole product in excellent yield. In dichloromethane solution, the reaction is conveniently carried out in a rotary evaporator by mixing the solvent, thiol and SO2Cl2 in a round-bottomed flask followed by evaporation of the volatiles. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.