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How To Clean Silverware and Silver Jewelry with Common Household Items

Silver, a versatile metal, is used for making silverware as well as jewelry. Unfortunately, it is a fragile metal compared to many other metals that are commonly used for the same purpose. Silverware and jewelry get stained or tarnished quickly due to oxidation. Therefore, they need to be cleaned in order to maintain their appearance and sheen. Here are a few simple and useful tips for cleaning silver:

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1. Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda

This recipe makes tarnish disappear quickly right in front of your eyes.

Things You Need

Aluminum foil
Glass dish/aluminum baking dish
Water – 1 liter
Baking soda – 1 tablespoon
Sea salt – 1 tablespoon
White vinegar – 1/2 cup
Rag for polishing
Tongs

Procedure

First of all bring the one liter of water to a boil. Add baking soda and sea salt. Pour vinegar slowly into the mixture as it sets off a slight reaction. You can clean your silverware and jewelry without adding vinegar, but it dramatically speeds up the cleaning process. Transfer the mixture to the glass or aluminum baking dish. Place your silverware or jewelry in the dish. Ensure that each piece of silver item touches the foil. Also, make sure that pieces do not overlap.

The tarnish gets transferred to the foil in about 30 seconds. However, more soaking time (up to 5 minutes) may be required if the pieces are heavily tarnished. Remove the items using tongs and clean them by buffing using the rag.

If the built-up tarnish persists, then make a paste using 2 tablespoons of water and a quarter cup of baking soda. Apply the paste using a damp sponge. Rinse and then dry all the items.

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2. Tomato Ketchup

Ketchup can also be used to clean silver. This is because the acid in tomatoes removes the tarnish, coating of oxidized silver.

Things You Need

Tomato Ketchup
Glass Dish
Rag for polishing
Warm water for rinsing
Toothbrush

Procedure

Pour ketchup into the dish and place the silver item to be cleaned into the ketchup. Make sure that it is totally submerged. Leave the item in the dish for about 5 to 10 minutes so that ketchup can reach with the tarnish and remove it. Remove the item from the bowl and rinse it with warm water. Dry and polish the piece with the help of the rag.

In the case of silver items such as candlesticks or other fancy silverware that have textured details, use a toothbrush for cleaning the area in between the crevices.

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3. Toothpaste

Toothpaste has also been found to be useful in cleaning silver.

Things You Need

Toothpaste
Old toothbrush
Water for rinsing
Rag for polishing

Procedure

Apply one dollop of toothpaste on to the silver item that you want to clean. You need only as much as you would use for brushing your teeth if the item to be cleaned is a small one. If you want clean a larger piece, then you will have to use more paste.

Add a drop or two of water to the brush and get working the paste on to the silver piece. Spread the paste all over the engravings and difficult to reach spots. If the piece you are cleaning is heavily tarnished, then you may have to allow the paste to sit on the item for a 1 or 2 minutes.

Rinse thoroughly to remove the toothpaste completely, even from the crevices and pat the item dry. Polish it with the rag.

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4. Banana Peel

This simple method for cleaning your silver jewelry makes use of banana peels.

Things You Need

Bananas
Water
Rag for polishing
Blender

Procedure

This is one of the preferred methods of cleaning silver jewelry that are small and delicate. This method may not work very well on large pieces such as silver dishware that are heavily tarnished.

Put in some banana peels into the blender and add a little amount of water so as to make it into a paste. Using a toothbrush or soft cloth apply the paste on to the silver jewelry item that you want to clean. Leave the piece for a while and then wash off the paste by dipping it into a water bath. Pat dry and polish it using the rag.

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5. Corn Starch

A paste made out of water and corn starch can make your silverware or jewelry look new once again.

Things You Need

Water
Corn Starch
Damp cloth
Cheesecloth/ rough towel
Rag for polishing

If corn starch is not available, you can use cream of tartar.

Procedure

Apply corn starch paste on to the silverware using the damp cloth. Leave it aside for a while so that the paste becomes dry. Now, rub off the paste with the mildly abrasive cheesecloth/rough towel. Thoroughly wash the silverware and allow it to dry. Polish it with the rag.

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6. Laundry Detergent

The laundry detergent recipe helps to make your silver jewelry and silverware sparkle.

Things You Need

Medium-sized bowl
Aluminum foil
Water
Powder laundry detergent – 1 tablespoon
Rag for polishing
Tongs

Procedure

Bring water to a boil. Line the medium-sized bowl with the aluminum foil. Now fill the bowl with the hot water. Add powdered laundry detergent and mix. Soak your silver items for about one minute. Take out the item with the help of the tongs and rinse using clean water. Dry the silverware or jewelry and polish using the rag.

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7. Dish Soap

Instead of a detergent, you can use the dish soap to clean your jewelry and silverware.

Things You Need

Dish soap
Large Bowl
Warm water
Clean, absorbent towel
Sponge
Two polishing clothes
Silver polish

Procedure

Transfer the warm water into the bowl. Add a small quantity of the liquid dish soap. Put the silver item to be cleaned inside the bowl of sudsy water and wash it thoroughly using the sponge. Rinse the silver piece clean with warm water and dry it thoroughly by wiping it with the absorbent towel.

Take a small amount of the polish on one of the polishing cloth pieces and rub it on to the silver item. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the silver polish because different types of silver polish are available in the market. The directions for using each of them would be different.

Remove the polish by wiping the item using the clean polishing cloth. Repeat the procedure if it is not completely free from tarnish.

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How to clean silver with aluminum foil and baking soda:

How to clean silver with ketchup or tomato paste:

How to clean silver with toothpaste:

How to clean silver with banana peels:

Posted in: Cleaning Tips

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