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How to Clean Silver


One drawback to silver jewelry and silverware is that they tarnish. You’d be pretty lucky if you’ve got a bunch of silverware in your house. Family heirloom perhaps. But keeping them clean can be a real chore. So here are some tips on cleaning your silver.

  • There are three main steps in silver care:
    • Remove the tarnish
    • Polish
    • Prevent tarnish
  • There are all-in-one products that can do all three or just remove the tarnish and polish. These silver cleaners would probably have mild abrasives in them. It’s a matter of rub them on, scrubbing, wiping them off, and buff the piece of silver to shine.
  • Some of the products would only do one. Like remove tarnish. Those that don’t require scrubbing would probably have some strong chemical like acid so better be careful in handling them.
  • Silver gets tarnished fast when exposed to sulfur. So this means your silverware can be tarnished by foods like eggs, mayonnaise, and other foods with sulfur.
  • Here’s the baking soda trick: This will also work on Silver Coins and any metal that has at least 50% + silver.

    • Line the bottom of the pot with aluminum foil. A word of caution though, aluminum pots can be stained with this process.
    • Add just enough water to cover your silver.
    • For each quart of water, put in 1 tsp each of salt and silver.
    • Stir and bring this solution to a boil.
    • Add the silver and let them boil for 2-3 minutes.

    This process would remove the tarnish but would leave a dull luster. So you might have to still have to polish it with metal or silver polish.

For a quick, home fix, wash silver in hot, sudsy water, rinse, and dry. Buff it with a soft cloth.


Categories: Home and Garden


2 Responses to “How to Clean Silver”

  • Great post , And some very good info i do hope you do not mind if i pass this on to people. Keep up the excellent blog ;-)

  • Dr. Daniels says:

    I buy silver cleaner called Silvermate. It cleans and polishes all in one step and is a non-hazardous liquid that requires no rubbing, which is what causes damage to silver, silver plate, gold and gold plate. Eventually, the plate is polished right off the item or on sterling, the designs or engravings can pe polished off, too.

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