Simple No Touch Silver Cleaning – How to Clean Your Silver with Simple Household Items!
So I love silver. I love how it looks sitting in my kitchen curio, but yes, I’m cheap so I refuse to ever pay for it new. As a result, I end up with a lot of silver pieces that are tarnished and worn by the years and in dire need of help.
Like this goblet for instance:
I picked it up at a yard sale a few weeks back for $2.00. $2.00! I wasn’t about to let that kind of deal pass me by, even if the goblet is just silverplate. I don’t care about the plating, I just wanted the ooooh shiney in my curio that I knew laid under the years of neglect that this bad boy had seen! So I picked it up and off we went. I had a small serving dish that I had been waiting to clean too so it was the perfect time to get it done! Here’s my thing though…I do NOT like paying for silver polish and I do NOT have the time to sit and polish each piece one by one. I certainly don’t have the time to scrub with lemon juice or whatever to remove years of tarnish.
That’s why I LOVE doing it this way! This method works for all silver, including jewelry and coins (although any coin collector should tell you NOT to clean your coins b/c it diminishes their value) and yes, you can do silverplated items, BUT…if you’re going to do silverplate, be aware that you may actually end up damaging it if there are any cracks in the plating. Water and gunk can get up under the plating and cause structural weakness in the item.
You will need:
- A container large enough to hold what you’re cleaning and water
- Baking soda
- Aluminum foil
- Steaming hot water – enough to fill your container and cover whatever it is you’re cleaning. (I fill THIS stockpot with water and use it…gotta love my chili pot…lol.)
To start, line your container with the foil. Be sure that there isn’t any part of the silver that will not be touching foil. Place the silver that you’re cleaning into the container and make sure of 2 things. First, your silver needs to be touching the foil. Second, any silver pieces need to be touching each other. Silver touching metal 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).
Heat the water up until it’s just below boiling. Once it’s got a good heat on it and is steaming hot, pour the water into your container making sure that you add enough to cover your silver. After your done with the water, be sure to check that the silver is still touching the other pieces in case it got moved off by the water.
Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda per half gallon of water. I usually add a bit more just to be on the safe side.
Let the silver sit in the baking soda/water mixture for an hour or so. After a few minutes, you will start to be able to see that it is working. In this pic, I only filled it half way so that I could show you guys how easy it is to see that the tarnish is coming off.
If you have a super tarnished item, like the goblet was, you may have to re-do the process more than once. This bad boy actually took 3 times to get it all off of the outsideIf you do have to re-do the process, just use the same foil, dump the old water mixture and re-heat fresh with new baking soda. I’ve never had to change out the foil.
Speaking of foil? Ewwww….once you’re done? Throw it away. I know that some people reuse foil, but this is NOT the time to do that.
A couple of things…I leave mine in the solution until the water cools. Be aware, the silver pieces will get VERY hot. Use tongs when you first pull them out. Once the tarnish is removed though, pull your silver out of the water and immediately dry thoroughly. Seriously. Dry it until you can’t anymore. If you leave ANY water spots on it at all, you’ll have tarnish again. Once they’re dry, put them away, wear it if it’s jewelry or whatever!