In December 2018, I wrote another article on how to clean silver.
In that article, I discovered a product my husband uses to clean the chrome on his tires called Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish. The product is excellent for cleaning silver, but the way I'm about to divulge is far superior.
The Easiest Way to Clean Silver that Doesn't Involve Manual Labor
In the 1980's I purchased an Electrolytic Silver Cleaning Plate.
The directions for using that cleaning plate are simple:
Put the plate in the bottom of your kitchen sink, fill the sink with boiling hot water, then add Calgon water softener. Rest the silver piece so that it's touching the plate, and leave it for a few minutes to fifteen minutes, then wipe clean.
However, I could no longer find Calgon (except for a ridiculous price on Amazon), so I began to do a bit of Google research.
There Are Many Ways, According to Articles on Google, on How to Clean Silver
Some articles involve dish soap and vinegar. However, I found the instructions on these methods to be too cumbersome.
I figured, if a silver plate with Calgon can clean silver, there has to be an equivalent DIY alternative method. Thanks to Google research, yes, there is.
Here's the Easiest and Best Way to Clean Silver
- Your kitchen sink
- Baking Soda (several boxes depending on how much silver you have to clean). I'd pick three boxes, so you don't run out
- Boiling Hot Water
1. Put the drain plug in your sink.
2. Line your entire sink with tin foil, shiny side up. Don't leave any sink exposed. Instead, bring the tin foil right up the sides of your sink all the way around. However, if you're only cleaning silverware and small pieces, you could try just lining the bottom of the sink.
3. Pour boiling water into the sink. I used mostly boiling water from the kettle, but I ran super hot tap water when the water needed more heat. However, just keep boiling water coming. I re-filled the kettle and boiled more water every time I emptied the kettle.
4. I filled the sink to the highest level because I had many silver pieces to clean, with some pieces being quite large.
5. Place a piece or pieces of silver in the sink touching the tin foil. For larger pieces, just rotate them so that all the sides get covered with water at some point. If the piece isn't in the water, it won't clean.
6. Pour baking soda into the sink. I poured it on top of the silver in the water, but I don't think that matters. Since I had a lot of silver to clean, I used several boxes of baking soda. On the first silver items, I probably dumped half a box in the water. I wanted to make sure it worked. Next, I cleaned a silver tea service, silver platters, silver candles, and a silver serving dish to clean. Judge for yourself how much baking soda you need. If you feel it's not cleaning fast enough, simply get the water up to boiling again, and add more baking soda.
7. The cleaning process takes care of itself. You don't have to scrub anything (just wipe it off when you take it out of the sink). In fact, it's interesting to watch the silver clean itself right before your eyes.
8. Dry, wipe and shine up your silver with a cloth. That's it, you're done.
9. I cleaned all these pieces in less than an hour.
I prefer the above method because it uses everything I have in the house; a sink, hot water, tin foil, and baking soda - boom, that's it. Oh, and it's unbelievable how clean the silver turns out.
This tea set was so tarnished it looked brassy-black. The tray was tricky to clean in the kitchen sink, but I managed to clean it simply by turning it around and around until all the areas were submerged.
The piece on the top left was also severely tarnished with dark black, as were the two serving dishes in the bottom middle.
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