Simple Silver Cleaning and Polishing

 

There are a few things that must be mentioned before attempting to clean your silver yourself. The first is that silver is a soft and malleable metal, easily scratched, so do not use any harsh abrasive cleansers or other materials. The second thing to remember is that you will have to clean your silver repeatedly. Wiping down silver jewelry and silverware takes care of basic cleaning, but on average it is a good idea to clean and polish items every month or so, in order to remove the tarnish that always seems to accumulate.

The following methods will work on removing that tarnish buildup. These options are easily found in the house, quite often in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet.

  1. Toothpaste, surprisingly, works well in cleaning and polishing your silver. All that is needed is to smear the toothpaste over the tarnished silver. Once the silver has been coated, run water that is warm to the touch over the toothpaste and work it into a lather. Rinse off the silver and you should have a nice and shiny piece again. To reach any nooks and crannies that are difficult to reach, use an old soft-bristled toothbrush with the toothpaste. You will want to dry the piece, if possible, with a soft piece of cloth.
  2. A paste of baking soda will work just as well as the toothpaste. You need to use a moist piece of old soft cloth to apply the paste, rub it on, rinse it off and polish it. Gentle steady pressure is required during this. No need to scrub so hard that your hands and fingers get stiff; let the chemical reaction work for you.
  3. Another chemical reaction that you can use to work for you is that of aluminum, salt, baking soda and water. Get something like a Pyrex baking dish and line the bottom with aluminum foil. Boil some water (enough for three or four inches of water in the baking dish) and one teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. Pour the resulting mix into the baking dish and simply place your silver into the water for about five minutes. Then remove, rinse off with clean water, dry and buff.

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