How do I clean silver?

CLEANING silver can be troublesome, especially if the item is deeply covered in tarnish.

But to save you paying money yourself to take it to a cleaning service, here's some helpful hacks for how to polish up your silverware yourself at home.

How do I clean silver?

When silver materials are not used for a long time, it will most likely be affected by tarnish.

Fortunately, you can clean it yourself using ordinary materials found in your own home. 

To start shining up your silverware, you will need…

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Baking Soda
  • Glass Container
  • Cotton Cloth
  • Tongs

Once you have the above materials, here's what to do…

1. Place the aluminium foil inside the container

Once you have your glass container, place the aluminium foil inside.

Make sure that your silver items can fit in the container and it’s high enough to soak it. 

2. Boil water with baking soda

Once the water has boiled, add half a cup of baking soda.

Remember, it’s normal to see the water foaming up when baking soda is added.

3. Pour water and the mixture over the silver items in the container.

Once the boiled water looks blurry, you can now pour it over the silver items in the container. The water level should be able to soak all items. 

4. Let it rest and soak for a few minutes

After pouring the mixture, let it rest for five to ten minutes.

Check if the tarnish is still present, and if it is, you can repeat the second step onwards. 

5. Polish with baking soda and water

Make use of the mixture of water and baking soda, and rub it on the areas that you want to polish.

Once you're finished, rinse all the items thoroughly. 

What are the best home remedies to clean silver?

Whilst the above method is the most thorough way to clean silver yourself, there are also other household cleaning items you can use to get the job done.

These include:

  • Laundry Detergent – use this in the same way you would use baking soda in method above.
  • Ketchup – allow the silverware to sit in ketchup for ten minutes, then rinse clean and pat dry.
  • Cornstarch – mix together cornstarch and water in equal parts to create a paste, rub this over your silverware and allow to dry, then wipe clean.

  • Hand sanitiser – squirt a few drops on to silverware to rub away tarnish.
  • Lemon or lime soda – allow silverware to soak in lemon or lime soda water for an hour or two.
  • Toothpaste – gently rub toothpaste on to tarnished areas with microfibre cloth.
  • Hair conditioner – rub gently on tarnished silver, then rinse clean.

Of course if you're not tempted to try out these home recipes – and you've got a lot of silver to clean, then you can just buy a tin of Silvo from the supermarket.

Tip some on a cloth, rub it in, then remove with a clean cloth.

How do I prevent tarnish?

They say that prevention is better than cure, and the same goes for protecting your silver items from tarnish.

Here are some tips on how you can prevent tarnishing on silver.

1. Use anti-tarnish strips. You can find anti-tarnish strip in stores. The strips contain activated charcoal that can prevent tarnishing. 

2. Maintain its cleanliness. Maintain the cleanliness of your silver items by dusting them regularly and using them from time to time. 

3. Choose the proper storage. The storage should be fit to the silver item. An example could be jewellery boxes in which the object can fit the space. 

The value of your silver may not change instantly, but its form can be affected by dirt and tarnish.

Maintaining the cleanliness of silver requires time and effort. If you don’t use your silver items frequently, then you have to store them properly.

Using preventive measures is the best thing that you can do.  

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