I love silver. Goblets, trays, jewelry, coins; I just love having it around. More specifically, I love old silver. Vintage or antique, it doesn’t matter much to me. I love it all. However, I love the shine on silver which means I had to learn how to clean silver quickly. Luckily for me, this easy silver cleaning method uses items I always have around my house and does not require me to stand over it making sure it works.
Before we get rolling, I do want to mention that this post was originally published in 2014. The photos are not that fantastic, but I haven’t had the chance to get new ones done. The method works so well though that I wanted to update the post for new readers who may not have seen it before.
Maybe it’s not that I’m super cheap – I am – but that I just love bringing something back to its original beautiful state.
Like the goblet in the photo above for instance.
A few years ago, I picked it up a few years ago at a garage sale for around $1.00. Silver is one of my must-grab garage sale finds so while it may only be silver plate, I knew something beautiful laid under it. I grabbed it and off we went!
How to Clean Silver with Common Household Items
I also had a small silver trinket dish that needed to er cleaned as well. Now, I could have went and bought silver polish. I could have used lemon juice and scrubbed, buthonestly I don’t have time to mess with either of them.
With this easy silver cleaning method, it takes 5 minutes to set up and then I can walk away for an hour.
That is the reason I love this method! It’s super simple and works for every form of silver out there!
Although, if you have silver coins, please don’t clean them. It diminishes their value.
Does this method of silver cleaning work for silver plated items?
Yes! You can use this easy silver cleaning method to clean silver plated items too!
However, this method does use water so it does require one extra step. The only thing you will need to do extra is to thoroughly inspect your silver plate for cracks. If an item is cracked, you risk rust and mold under the plating.
For pure silver, as long as the water can not get in between any layers, you will be fine.
You will need:
- A large container (Amazon) (Dollar Tree)
- Baking soda (Amazon) (Dollar Tree)
- Aluminum Foil (Amazon) (Dollar Tree)
- Water – Almost to a boiling point
- Kitchen towels for drying (Amazon) (Dollar Tree)
- Kitchen Tongs, optional (Amazon) (Dollar Tree)
To begin, you’ll want to line a large container with foil. You need the container to be large enough to hold both your silver items and the water. Line the entire inside of the container plus the sides with the foil.
You will also need to heat the water. Again, you’ll need enough to fill the container with enough to cover the silver items. I always make sure to heat extra as well.
Once the water is boiling, place the silver that you’re cleaning into the container.
You’ll need to make sure of two things; first that your silver is touching the foil. Secondly, if you have multiple pieces of silver, they need to be touching each other.
Silver touching foil touching silver helps to conduct the special voodoo magic that cleans the silver for you… 🙂
Okay, not voodoo but it does help to conduct the “charge” a bit better.
Once the water has reached around 200° F, pour enough into the container to cover the silver. Because water can move objects, double check the placement of your silver if you’re cleaning multiple pieces. If they have shifted, use tongs or something like it to move them back so they are touching each other.
Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda per half gallon of water. I usually add a bit more just to be on the safe side. There’s not really a need to stir it into the water, but you can if you would like.
Let the silver sit in the baking soda/water mixture for an hour or so. It should not take too long before you begin to see it working.
The photo above was only done half way to show you what it will begin to look like as it begins to work.
After an hour, check your silver. If you have a really tarnished item, you may need to redo the process. In fact, the goblet took three times to fully get it cleaned.
If you do have to re-do things, simply dump the water and start over with fresh hot water and baking soda.
You can reuse the foil for the rest of the processes. Do not reuse it beyond that as the tarnish from your silver will end up on the foil.
After the silver has soaked and is cleaned it will be very, very hot. You can either leave it in the water until it is fully cool or you can use tongs to remove it. Yes, it is perfectly fine to leave the silver in the water. It will not begin to re-tarnish until it is removed and exposed to air.
No matter which you choose to do, immediately dry your silver the moment you pull it from the water.
Dry it until you think you can not dry it anymore. If you leave any water spots on it, it will begin to re-tarnish.
Once it’s fully dry, you’re done! See? It’s a super easy way to clean silver that actually works!
How to Clean Silver with Common Household Products
- Large Container
- Kitchen Towel
- Tongs – Optional
- Aluminum Foil
- Baking Soda
- To begin, you’ll want to line a large container with foil. You need the container to be large enough to hold both your silver items and the water. Line the entire inside of the container plus the sides with the foil.You will also need to heat the water. Again, you’ll need enough to fill the container with enough to cover the silver items. I always make sure to heat extra as well.Once the water is boiling, place the silver that you’re cleaning into the container making sure it is touching both the foil and other pieces of silver.
- Add 1 tablespoon baking soda for every 1/2 gallon water. Allow the silver to soak for at least 1 hour.
- Once the silver has soaked, remove it from the water and dry it fully and immediately making sure not to leave any water spots.