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How to Clean Silver with Home Remedies

There are a few, if any, more lustrous and luxurious material for jewelry, dishes and decorations like silver. It brings a sense of luxury and elegance to your interior and is an expression of class when you add a few accents of it to your outfit.

As widespread as is the use of silver so are the problems of it darkening over time. This is an unavoidable process, as it happens when silver reacts with the ever-present trace amounts of sulphur molecules in the air, which creates a dark and even black coating called tarnish.

It is possible to postpone the tarnishing processes by following a routine of washing your silver items with a mixture of water and few drops of mild soap. Storing them in cool dry places will also help keep them shiny for a longer period of time.

Inevitably, at a certain point your silver pieces will still begin to darken. Luckily, your mood shouldn’t darken as they do - there is a whole cluster of ways to revive the original shimmer of your tarnished silver with minimal effort in the comfort of your home.

Before looking for expensive silver polish, read along for some advice on how to clean tarnished silver with these proven simple DIY methods.

How to Clean Silver Effortlessly at Home

It may not be easy to believe that the maintenance of such luxurious items as silver cutlery of jewelry could actually be so simple and accessible.

Most of the necessary items you’d need you probably already have at home – furthermore the preparation for the cleaning process itself is quite easy takes almost no time.

For ages people have been inquiring how to clean silver most effectively, and these methods are proven over time to restore the true original shine of any silverplate or item.

Aluminium Foil and Baking Soda

This method could certainly be classified as the most effective homemade silver cleaner. The reason for that is that it causes a chemical reaction that decomposes the tarnish, or silver sulfide, back into silver and aluminum sulfide.

This reaction is known as ion exchange and it happens when backing soda is joined with salt, water and aluminum foil.

Don’t panic – you won’t need a chemical lab for that reaction to happen. You only need a container for hot water (avoid metal containers), and a utensil for turning the jewelry over for a few minutes.

Firstly, cover the bottom of the container with the aluminum foil, with the shiny side facing up and pour the hot, preferably boiling water. Add the baking soda, using about a 1.5 tablespoon for a gallon of water.

After that put the silverware inside – this is a great method for cleaning larger silverware such as pots or cutlery. Turn it around using a utensil for 3 to 8 minutes, then take it out, put it on a dry cloth, and enjoy the fresh glimmer of newly cleaned silver.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Another highly effective way to use baking soda for cleaning tarnished silver is to mix it with vinegar – you need about 2 tablespoons of soda for half a cup of vinegar. Add the silverware and let it soak for an hour after which you should rinse it – then simply marvel at the results.

Aluminium Foil and Laundry detergent

This method is an analogy of the aluminum foil and soda method, however, it is softer and suitable for slightly tarnished silverware. It is appropriate for cleaning the more delicate silver antiques, items that are silver plated or made of sterling silver.

Sterling silver usually contains 7.5% zinc or copper, which means that it’s nearly as pure as regular silver, but is much more easily tarnished.

Sterling silver items need gentler cleaning and some methods for regular silver could react with the alloys with unpleasant results. Therefore, this is a great method if you need advice on how to clean sterling silver.

Lemon and Salt

With this method cleaning tarnished silver becomes a piece of lemon pie. The method is ideal if you are wondering how to clean silver jewelry or cutlery on a daily basis.

Place the silverware in a bath of hot water with three tablespoons of salt and a squeezed lemon. Let it soak for five minutes, and after that rub with a fresh cloth.

The reaction between the lemon and the salt deoxidizes the tarnished silver and brings back its full luster.

Hand Sanitizer

If you are looking for quick advice on how to clean silver necklace on the go, hand-sanitizer is a convenient option that will do the job in no time. Just pour a few drops on a handkerchief and gently polish your piece of jewelry until it’s gleaming again.

If your jewelry is coated with gemstones don’t try this method, as it could damage their surface. It is also a potential damage for items made of sterling silver.


You’ve most probably encountered this method if you’ve been searching for how to polish silver. It is a popular and effective method for bringing back the shimmer of your silverware.

Preferably use non-abrasive toothpaste and squeeze about a pea-sized drop on a paper cloth or a toothbrush. Polish gently until you start seeing the tarnish getting off.

Leave it on for five minutes in order for the compounds in the toothpaste to react thoroughly with the tarnish, then rinse it with clear water. In no time your silverware will look as brand new.


This surprising method will turn the process of cleaning silver into a child’s play. This is possible due to the acid contained in the tomatoes, that deoxidizes the tarnished silver.

For a bit of happy cleaning pour a few drops of ketchup on a paper cloth and gently polish your silver cutlery. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, clean with a fresh cloth and rinse.

You can use any of these methods, according to whichever suit you best – all of them should be sufficient to keep your silverware and jewelry lustrous and shiny at all time.

In terms of cleaning services in London, we at have an expertise in a wide range of services – from carpet cleaning, to upholstery cleaning and even patio and driveway jet washing.

Keep a look out for more valuable advice on how to make the world around you a bit cleaner. Until next time!

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