Saturday, December 5, 2015

How To Clean Silver The Easy Way

My silver pieces hadn't been polished for a while and some were very dark.  I buy most of my things at thrift stores, or vintage type stores, and they are not usually clean when I buy them.  I have always used a soft cloth product that had cleaner and polisher in it, and was happy with them, but I didn't have any on hand and needed to clean my silver for the tea last Monday.  I had seen this method online, and decided to give it a try.  I looked on pinterest and there were dozens of variations.  I initially used one that called for hot water, foil, 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of baking soda.  You mix it all up and put your silver piece in.  I let it soak for quite a while and when I took it out it was still pretty tarnished.  But as I took a cloth and wiped it the tarnish came off easily.  As I continued to clean my pieces, I didn't change out the water, just the foil for each new piece.  I had great results, except on one smallish tray.


Here is the tray after being cleaned once.  I had read that some heavily tarnished pieces may need to be cleaned more than once to get them fully cleaned.

So this morning I put the foil in the sink
 Put in some baking soda - I didn't measure this time.  Most methods seemed to indicate that how much wasn't important.

 I added salt and turned the water on.

 I used my hand to stir in the baking soda and salt.  You want it to be dissolved in the water.
 Now looks are deceiving here because it is not this clean already.  There is more natural light by my sink than where I took the first photo.

 One method mentioned lightly wrapping the foil over the piece being cleaned so I did that.

I waited about 20 minutes and checked it.

 It's cleaner, and the tarnish is looser on the tray.
 I started to gently rub and the tarnish was coming off easily.

 Here is a tarnished area on the edge
 Here is the same spot after rubbing it a bit.
 This is so much better, but I put it back into the water for a while.

These sugar and creamer bowls were just as bad as the tray and they cleaned up beautifully with one soak.

These pots were tarnished but not as darkly as the other pieces and they cleaned up with just one soak as well.

So there you have it.  I will use this method from now on.  I'll never buy polish or tarnish cleaner again.

What WOULD Mr. Carson have to say about that?!


  1. Thanks for the tip;). I am going to give it a try! Enjoy your Saturday, hugs.

  2. I used this method with some old spoons and had great results!

  3. Some think it is too harsh; however, I'm all for it. I will try it on "the award" as soon as I get more foil. Yup, used it all up the last time. You have found some wonderful pieces!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I will definitely be giving this a try - though I have to pieces that I will need to buy cleaner for (they have leather padding on the bottom and therefore cannot be soaked!).


  5. Donated my last silver odds and ends. Tried one of those homemade ideas last year and ruined a silver sugar and creamer. I always pick the wrong ones!

  6. Two words! WOW! Awesome! Thanks for sharing.


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