Silver Guidebook: How to Best Clean and Care for Them

Silver family treasures add an opulent element to dining arrangements, but as time passes, their lustrous shine may diminish due to exposure.

Cleaning Silver with Dish Soap

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Photo: Cleaning Silver with Dish Soap

For regular maintenance, a quick wash with Soapy Water can effectively keep your silver shiny.

Wash Silver in Soapy Water: Mix a few drops of mild dishwashing soap with warm water and gently wash your silver pieces.

Rinse and Dry Silver: Thoroughly rinse the silver and dry it using a soft cloth.

Storing Silver: Between cleanings, it’s advisable to store your silver in a cool, dry place to minimize tarnishing.

Cleaning Silver with baking soda and Aluminum Foil

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Photo: Cleaning Silver with Baking Soda and Aluminum Foil

You can effectively clean tarnished silver, even heavily tarnished pieces, using a simple homemade solution, for which you likely already have all the necessary ingredients.

The combination of aluminum foil, baking soda, and salt typically works wonders for both small and large silver items.

Prepare the Pan or Sink: Line a pot or roasting pan with aluminum foil, ensuring it covers the entire surface.

For larger silver items, line your sink in the same manner, including the edges.

Add Boiling Water: Fill the pan or sink with boiling water, ensuring the silver pieces will be fully submerged.

Add Baking Soda and Kosher Salt: For small silver items, add 1/4 cup of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the water and stir until bubbles form.

For larger silver items, add 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of salt to the water and stir until bubbles form.

Add Silver Items to Cleaning Solution: Mix the solution well and carefully place the silver pieces into the pan, ensuring they don’t collide with each other or the pan’s sides.

Allow the silver items to soak for up to 30 minutes.

Let Cool and Dry Silver: Once the water has cooled, remove the silver items and dry them with a soft cloth.

Your silver pieces should now appear shinier and free of tarnish.

Cleaning Silver with Vinegar

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Photo: Cleaning Silver with Vinegar

For a more robust silver polishing technique, you can incorporate the cleaning power of vinegar, which works particularly well for cleaning silverware.

As with any new cleaning method, it’s advisable to test these techniques on an inconspicuous spot before proceeding.

Line Pan or Sink: Line a large roasting pan or your sink with aluminum foil.

Mix Vinegar Cleaning Solution: Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to the foil-lined dish.

Pour 1/2 cup of distilled White Vinegar into the dish, and the mixture will start bubbling.

Add Boiling Water: Add 1 to 2 cups of boiling water, ensuring there’s enough liquid to fully submerge your silver pieces.

Add Silver and Let Soak: Place the silver items into the dish, arranging them in a single layer.

Allow lightly tarnished pieces to soak for 30 seconds, or leave heavily tarnished pieces for up to three minutes.

Dry and Buff: Using tongs, remove the silver items from the dish, then dry and buff them until they’re clean and shiny.

Additional Methods to Clean Silver

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Photo: Additional Methods to Clean Silver

There are numerous home remedies for cleaning silver.

Here are a few additional options you can try:

Polish Silver with Ketchup: For an extra sheen, use ketchup to clean silver.

The condiment can be applied as a paste to polish tarnished metals like brass and silver.

Remove Water Spots with Lemon: Lemon is a powerful natural cleaner that can be utilized on silver too.

Dip a microfiber cloth into concentrated lemon juice and use it to remove water spots from silverware. When storing your silver, ensure it’s placed in a dry, cool location, and keep delicate pieces separate to avoid contact.

Restore Shine with Toothpaste: Toothpaste can work wonders when cleaning silver, resulting in a sparkling finish.

Dilute some toothpaste with a little water, polish the silver with a soft cloth, and rinse it thoroughly.

*The information is for reference only.