With a few popular household objects, you can restore the luster of your silver bits. Follow our simple instructions for cleaning silver, polishing, and caring for silver.
Silver is used to making vases, serving platters, cutlery, and candlesticks, all of which are exquisite, heirloom-quality items. These elegant metal accessories add a glamorous touch to table settings and show shelves. Still, the shiny finish can become rusty or tarnished over time due to exposure to light and air. Silver objects need to be cleaned regularly since they are intended to be displayed or used. Cleaning silver, luckily, does not have to be time-consuming. You can easily remove tarnish from silver pieces with a few pantry ingredients, including salt and baking soda. To clean silver, follow our basic cleaning instructions (including instructions on how to polish silver and avoid tarnish).
How to care for silver
A fast wash in soapy water will suffice to keep silver shiny regularly. Gently wash silver bits in warm water with a few drops of gentle dishwashing soap. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft towel. To avoid tarnish, keep silver in a cool, dry position in between cleanings.
How to clean silver naturally.
An easy homemade solution for cleaning tarnished silver (even highly tarnished pieces) can be made, and you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand. Cleaning silver with a mixture of aluminum foil, baking soda, and salt works well on small and large bits. Try these basic methods for cleaning tarnished silver and watch the grime vanish right before your eyes.
What you’ll need
- Boiling water
- Aluminum foil
- Pan or pot
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
- Soft cloth
How to clean small silver items
- Line a pot or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Ensure that the foil is fully covering the board.
- Fill the pan with boiling water.
- Stir together 1/4 cup baking soda and two teaspoons of kosher salt in the water. Bubbles should start to shape.
- Place the silver pieces in the solution and gently stir to prevent them from smashing into one another or the pan’s sides.
- Let sit for up to 5 minutes.
- Remove and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth once it has cooled.
How to clean large silver items
Larger silver pieces, such as bulky trays, candlesticks, and serving dishes, can be cleaned in your sink.
- Make a foil liner for your sink. Be sure to cover the entire board, including the edges, once more.
- Fill the sink with boiling water. Use enough water to submerge your parts fully.
- To the sugar, add 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup salt. The mixture should be stirred. There will be bubbles.
- Place silver pieces in the solution.
- Leave up to 30 minutes for the pieces to soak.
- When the things are cold, remove them and dry them with a soft cloth.
Your silverware should now be shinier and tarnish-free. They’re ready to use or proudly show, and you’ll never have to think about how to clean silver again!
How to clean silver with Vinegar
Incorporate the cleaning capacity of Vinegar as well for a more vigorous silver polishing. This method is particularly effective for cleaning silverware. Add one tablespoon baking soda and one tablespoon kosher salt to the aluminum-lined dish after lining your pan or sink with foil. When you pour 1/2 cup distilled white Vinegar into the dish, it will start to bubble—1 to 2 cups boiling water (enough liquid to submerge the silver parts completely). Place the pieces in a single layer in the dish. Soak lightly tarnished pieces for 30 seconds, or more highly tarnished pieces for up to 3 minutes. Tongs are used to remove objects, which are then dried and buffed.
More Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Silver
Cleaning silver at home can be done in a variety of ways. Before diving in, test these techniques on an inconspicuous area, as you would with any new cleaning tool.
Polish silver with ketchup
Cleaning silver with ketchup will give it an extra sheen. The condiment can be used to polish tarnished metals, such as brass and silver, like a paste.
Remove water spots from silver with lemon juice.
Lemon is a powerful cleaning agent that can also be used on silver. Dip a microfiber cloth in a bit of concentrated lemon juice and polish away water spots from silverware. When storing silver, keep it in a safe, cool place and give fragile parts plenty of room, so they don’t collide.
Restore shine to silver with toothpaste
Using toothpaste to clean silver will result in gleaming results. Rinse after diluting toothpaste with a bit of water and polishing the silver with a soft cloth. Toothpaste should not be used on silver-plated products because it can erode the finish.
How do you clean heavily tarnished antique silver?
Silver-plated jewelry, such as silver necklaces, rings, and other jewelry, may be difficult to clean. Since these parts are only silver plated over another metal, intense cleaning or submerging them in a liquid solution and normal wear and tear will result in flaking. Until beginning a deep clean, test methods in an inconspicuous location. If your silver jewelry has gemstones or other embellishments, wipe them down before storing them with a few drops of mild soap or even baby shampoo mixed in water. To get into nooks and crannies, use cotton swabs or a soft bristle brush. If you’re going to use a brush, go slowly, so you don’t scratch the paint.
Before cleaning silver that is antique or has a high value (whether monetary or sentimental), you should contact an antique dealer, jeweler, or experienced restoration company. A professional will advise you on how to clean your silver and give you pointers unique to your piece.
How to polish silver
Although the natural silver cleaning methods described above will help restore shine, commercial silver polish items are also available online and in stores. Make sure you use a cleaner made especially for sterling silver or silver-plated products. Some are designed for specific uses, while others are more general. Always read the directions before using silver polish items and make sure you follow them to the letter.
It doesn’t take a long time to learn how to clean sterling silver, silver antiques, and silver jewelry. Routine maintenance, preventative maintenance, a basic silver cleaning process, and a little polishing will keep your silver pieces gleaming for years to come.
What is the best home remedy to clean silver?
Over time, silver jewelry, idols, and utensils lose their luster and shine. This is tarnish, which is caused by a chemical reaction in the air between silver and sulphur. However, to keep your silver jewelry in excellent condition, you must clean it and care for it regularly. Cleaning silver, fortunately, does not have to be time-consuming. You can easily remove tarnish from silver products using popular household items like salt and baking soda which are natural ways to clean silver.
Here are several simple, homemade silver cleaners and affordable ways to scrub, polish, and remove tarnish from silver. There is a strict rule of thumb you can obey no matter which system you use to clean your silver: If you’re cleaning a valuable or antique piece of silver, do a spot test first in an inconspicuous area before handling the whole piece.
Baking soda and aluminum foil
This is a common and simple method for cleaning tarnished silver. If your silver jewelry has turned yellow or black, you can use this simple method to reverse the effect. You don’t need to spend a lot of money; you can do it with things you already have. This low-cost and simple method can clean your jewelry in 30 seconds to 3 minutes, including in the most challenging tarnish situations (depending on the state of your silver).
Get the water to a boil first. (Keep in mind that there should be enough water to fill the bowl to the top.) Next, fill your bowl/vessel with aluminum foil, with the shiny side facing up. Then, add one tablespoon of baking soda to the tub for each cup of water, and the solution will bubble.
Place the silver jewelry in the dish right away, making sure it touches the aluminum foil – this is an essential part of the chemical reaction process. Allow 2–5 minutes in the solution.
If the tarnishing is lacking, you can leave it in for up to 10 minutes. Finally, securely remove the jewelry, rinse it under cool water, and dry it with the dry cleaning cloth. That concludes our discussion. Prepare to be swept away!
Lemon and salt bath-
Regularly, this process is primarily used to clean the idols and puja utensils. To use this process, squeeze a lemon into a bowl with three tablespoons of salt and hot water, then immerse the tarnished bracelet for 5 minutes. Remove it and rub it with a soft cloth until it’s done. This will assist you in removing the tarnish.
A white silver cleaning cloth may aid in the removal of tarnish. The standard cloth needs so much work and does not produce flawless results.
Ketchup may also be used to clean silverware at home. Squeeze a small amount of ketchup onto a paper towel and rub the tarnished areas gently. Let the ketchup sit for 15 to 20 minutes. If your silver isn’t getting any shinier, then rub with a soft cloth and rinse clean. You may use a toothbrush to clean between the crevices of objects with textured details, such as candlesticks or fancy silverware if you’re using this tool.
Another old and standard method for removing tarnish is to use laundry detergent. To clean silver jewelry, pour one small detergent cup into a bowl of hot water and put it inside. Remove it after 5–7 minutes and rub it with a rag. When the laundry detergent reacts with the water, a foamy substance is formed. The best thing is that it removes the shadow and cleans any dirt or gunk from the jewelry.
One of the simple DIY silver cleaners is toothpaste. Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a dish and rub it in circular motions onto the jewelry or silverware to polish it and remove the tarnish. Allow 5 minutes before rinsing the toothpaste off with water. The silver object is cleaned after this process is completed.
Vinegar, water, and baking soda combined are excellent solutions for various issues, including tarnished silver. Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and two tablespoons baking soda in a bowl of lukewarm water to use this process. Allow two to three hours for the silver to soak. After that, give it a good rinse with cold water and let it air dry.
Hand sanitizers are the most readily available commodity in the current coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, hand sanitizer kills germs and removes dirt, grime, and tarnish from silver. Start polishing the silver with a few drops squeezed onto a dry rag.
Silver can tarnish as long as it is exposed to air and light, so it is best to store silver to slow down the tarnish process. You can avoid tarnish by applying hair conditioner to your silver, storing it in an anti-tarnish bag made from tarnish-resistant silversmiths’ fabric, or make a simple DIY workaround.
How do you clean badly tarnished silver?
With Vinegar, sugar, and baking soda, you can quickly repair your jewelry or tableware. This cleaning agent can be used on a variety of surfaces, including tarnished silver. In a bowl of lukewarm water, combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and two tablespoons baking soda. Allow two to three hours for the silver to soak.