Unattractive Silver can ruin a party or dinner engagement. The need to polish silver is universal. Below are a few helpful tips to achieve great looking Silver.
Aluminum Foil Method
• Aluminum foil
• Glass dish or aluminum baking dish
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 1/2 cup white vinegar
• Rag for polishing
1 Bring water to a boil in a pot on the stove. (When combined with the other ingredients, the water will activate the baking soda and start the process of transferring the tarnish to the aluminum.)
2 Inside an aluminum dish or a glass dish lined with aluminum foil, add the baking soda and sea salt.
3 Slowly pour in the vinegar and boiling water to your dish. You will cause a slight reaction, so pour carefully! It is possible to clean your silver without adding vinegar, but the vinegar will dramatically speed up the process.
4 Place the silver into your dish, making sure each piece is touching the aluminum surface. (Try not to let any of the pieces overlap.) This should only take about 30 seconds but if you have heavily tarnished pieces you may need to let them soak a few minutes longer.
5 Use tongs to remove the silverware and work off any remaining spots by buffing with a rag. Then, look deep into your shiny silver and admire the smartypants that brought it back to its original glory!
Here’s how to polish silver with vinegar, which you may not know is an incredibly versatile cleaning tool. Return luster and shine to your silverware and jewelry by soaking it in
1/2 cup white vinegar mixed with
2 tablespoons of baking soda for two to three hours.
Rinse under cold water, and dry thoroughly.
What You Need
• Toothpaste (not gel!)
• An old scrubbing toothbrush
1 Apply a dollop of toothpaste to your piece of silver. I used about as much as I would on my teeth, however, if you are working on a larger piece you might need to use more.
2 Add just a bit of water to your brush and go to town! Get in all those engravings and tough to reach spots. If your piece is heavily tarnished you might want to let it set for a minute or two before moving on to step 3.
3 Rinse! Simply rise off all the toothpaste, making sure to get any leftovers that may have clung to engravings, and pat dry.
Banana Peel Method
• Rag to polish silver
There are a few all natural recipes for cleaning silver but this is my preferred method for jewelry. Its great for small delicate pieces, but won’t work as well on heavily tarnished large pieces like silverware or dishware.
1. Blend: Toss a few banana peels in the blender with just a bit of water to make a paste. It won’t be pretty, but it will work!
2. Scrub: With a soft cloth or toothbrush, begin to work the paste around your silver piece.
3. Wash: Dip the silver into a water bath and work off any remaining paste. Pat dry with a clean cloth.
If your silver is tarnished, ketchup can help. Here’s how to polish silver with this common condiment.
1 Pour ketchup into a dish.
2 Place your silver piece into the ketchup, making sure its totally submerged. Let the silver sit in the ketchup for 5-10 minutes.
3 Remove silver piece from the bowl, rinse with warm water and buff dry with a rag.
A paste of cornstarch and water will make silver look new again.
Apply with a damp cloth, let dry, then rub off with something mildly abrasive, like cheesecloth or a rough towel.
Tip: You can substitute cream of tartar if you’re out of cornstarch
Lemon Dry Milk Method
Your silver will sparkle after soaking overnight in a mixture of
1 tablespoon of lemon juice,
1 1/2 cups water,
1/2 cup of instant dry milk.
Store Brand Polishes
The Twinkle Silver Polish Kit, which includes a thick cream polish and sponge applicator, really buffed up the silver, especially on the more heavily tarnished pieces. The Twinkle is the fastest-acting of the pastes, burnishing each utensil in about a minute and a half. While it took a bit longer to use than the Weiman, it left behind a slightly better shine. Twinkle Silver Polish Kit, Malco Products; twinklepolish.com
Weiman Royal Sterling Silver Polish a nearly perfect result, removing tarnish most effectively and efficiently. This liquid spiffed up our silverware fastest (less than one minute per piece) and did a great job at retarding tarnish’s return, even after six weeks. Weiman Royal Sterling Silver Polish, Weiman Products; weiman.com