How to Clean Silver Cheaply and Easily At Home

How to Clean Silver Cheaply and Easily At Home

Do you want to learn how to clean silver items? You don’t need expensive and chemical-laden specialty cleaners.

If you own silver items, you probably have noticed how easily they tarnish. The tarnish develops as a chemical reaction when silver mixes with sulfur, creating silver sulfide, which darkens the surface. The resultant color normally ranges from yellow to black, which can be quite unsightly, especially for silver jewelry.

Simple home table setting with flowers, glasses and cutlery in the kitchen interior.
Image Source: Daria Minaeva

So, you need to know how to clean silver items and keep them beautiful. You want to enjoy them for years. There are several easy, quick, and cheap cleaning techniques that will not only save your time but will also keep your silver sparkly.

All you need for these techniques are common ingredients that are readily available in your kitchen. Let’s look at some of the techniques:

How to Clean Silver with Baking Soda and Aluminum Foil

You will need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • A bowl
  • Boiling water
  • A tablespoon of baking soda for every cup of water
Close-up of baking soda in a glass jar
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Silver knife and fork, aluminum foil and salt
Image Source: PhotoSG


Line the bottom of your bowl with aluminum foil. Then, place your piece of silver in the bowl and make sure it touches the aluminum foil. Otherwise, a chemical reaction may not occur.

Bring water to roaring boil before adding a tablespoon of baking soda for each cup of water. Pour the resultant solution into the bowl. Leave it to sit for up to 10 minutes, depending on the gravity of tarnish.

Then, allow your silver to dry. You should get an impressive result.

Close up of washed dishes in the kitchen
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Knives, forks and spoons placed on a towel
Image Source: Juergen Wiesler

How to Clean Silver with Toothpaste

Toothpaste is composed of hydrated silica, which is an abrasive and surface stain remover.  This makes it effective in cleaning all the crevices and hard to reach places. So, how do you use it to clean silver?

Rub your toothpaste all over your piece of silver. Just like you are washing it but instead of soap, it is silver. Then, run your silver under warm water to produce a froth. Rub it well, rinse, dry, and lastly buff with a soft cloth.

Cleaning silverware with toothpaste
Image Source: photocall

How to Clean Silver Flatware

If you have silver flatware that you rarely use, they are most probably tarnished. So, consider cleaning and polishing them to add beauty and charm to your table.

You should realize that certain foods, such as acidic and salty foods, are not friendly to silver flatware. So, you should not keep such foods on the flatware for a prolonged period of time. Otherwise, your flatware will get stained.

It is also advisable to store your silver in a tarnish-resistant bag to prevent it from tarnishing. If your flatware is not tarnished you can just wash it. The best way is to use warm sudsy water and then rinse well. Be sure to dry it immediately, lest it develops unsightly spots.

Cleaning silver
Image Source: photocall

While you can wash your silverware in the dishwasher, the hollow handles could be loosened due to water and heat exposure. Avoid putting silver flatware in the same container as stainless steel flatware. You don’t want the stainless steel flatware to permanently stain your silver flatware.

Final thoughts

No matter how new or beautiful your silver items are, over time they will become dull, dirty, or tarnished from dust, oil, moisture, and corrosion. So, you need to clean your silver from time to time to eliminate the dark tarnish color on the surface. Most people spend a lot of money on chemical silver tarnish removers and jewelers clothes to clean their silver items. However, it is possible to achieve similar results with inexpensive ingredients that are readily available at home, as demonstrated in this article. Now that you know how to clean silver easily and cheaply, it is time to implement the techniques at home.



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