March 2, 2009

polishing silver


the gruesome 'before' picture

It isn't like I use fancy silverware everyday. Far from it! My kids each received a silver baby cup when they were born and each family member has a silver napkin ring with our initials (also gifts). The napkin rings have been incredibly useful since we switched to cloth napkins last year.

So it isn't like I am well versed with polishing silver. They few times I did it I used silver polish in a bottle. It was messy and I was a little worried about cleaning and rinsing it all off before letting my kids use their cups again.

Now that our silver pieces have turned a dark, almost black color, I decided to see if I could find a safer method. Not only is the technique I found safer, it is a pretty fun and easy process!

To do this you'll need: aluminum foil, boiling water, baking soda and salt.


Line your sink or a bowl with aluminum foil, and drop in tarnished silver.


Pour in boiling water, a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt.


Let sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil.


Voila!

9 comments:

Peter said...

That's super cool!

Debbie said...

That is really neat! I presume it would work for jewelry, too? I have lots of earrings that need some attention...

AZ Dog Mom said...

Not only does it work, but its fun to boot!! Kind of like cleaning the drain with baking soda and vinegar. Does the job and amuses the easily entertained. ;D Thanks for the great tip!

mgb said...

omg, I can't wait to try this. It looks so fun and I just LOVE the before/after difference. Neat!

suzanne said...

cool. i can't believe I am going to go polish my silver!

laura said...

WOW. That is fantastic. It reminded me of a few stories I've been seeing about hotels cleaning with electrolyzed water - I bet you saw them too! (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-magicwater23-2009feb23,0,2307567.story)
Household science is too cool. Thanks for telling us about this!

Anonymous said...

That method does work to remove tarnish from silver, although it doesn't polish it. My restaurant buys silver cleaner called Silvermate. It is non-hazardous and my staff doesn't even wear gloves when using it. Silvermate is a liquid that only takes 20 seconds to clean and polish silver, gold and platinum.

Anonymous said...

My silver turned black after I used this method and I was told it had to be replated because it removed all the silver! :( I was also told to buy silver cleaner called Silvermate because it is safe and will not harm my silver

Anonymous said...

do be careful - this works by electrolysis - the top layer of silver actually transfers across to the baking foil. if you leave you stuff into long and your silver plating is thin, then ALL the silver will be removed. Silver polish is much more kind to the piece.