Silver jewelry and silverware tend to lose their luster and even turn black over time. These are temper colors that are created by a chemical reaction between silver and sulfur in the air. In fact, silver items don’t just react with sulfur in the air. Perfume, cosmetics, hairspray, hand cream, skin oils and even some foods can also tarnish the metal, causing it to lose its shine and luster. How to clean silver? Luckily, there are some easy and inexpensive ways to help you!
Table of Contents
- How often should you polish silver?
- How to care for silver?
- How to clean silver with home remedies – jewelry and cutlery
How often should you polish silver?
Polishing, while necessary, is abrasive. That’s why you shouldn’t overdo it – two to six times a year is sufficient in most cases.
How to care for silver?
For routine maintenance, a quick wash in soapy water is enough to keep silver shiny. Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water and gently wash the silver. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Store silver in a cool, dry place to avoid excessive tarnishing.
How to clean silver with home remedies – jewelry and cutlery
Aluminum foil, salt, and baking soda for blackened silver
You can clean tarnished silver with a simple homemade solution, and you probably already have all the ingredients you need. Cleaning the precious metal with a combination of aluminum foil, baking soda, and salt is usually suitable for both small and large pieces of silver. Try these simple techniques to clean tarnished silver and watch the dirt disappear before your eyes.
What you need:
- aluminum foil
- Boiling water
- Baking soda
- soft cloth
Silverware and other small silver items can be cleaned in a pot or pan lined with aluminum foil.
Line a pot with aluminum foil. Make sure the foil covers the entire surface.
Fill the pan with boiling water. Add 60 g of baking soda and two teaspoons of salt to the water and stir. You should see bubbles forming.
Carefully place pieces of silver into the pot, being careful not to bump the pieces into each other or the sides of the pot. Leave in the solution for up to five minutes. Once cool, take out your silver items and dry them thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Make silver cutlery and jewelry shine with vinegar
For a more powerful polish on silver, you can also use the cleaning power of vinegar. This method is particularly good for cleaning silver cutlery. Line a bowl or sink with foil and add 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon salt to the aluminum-lined bowl. Pour 120ml distilled white vinegar into the bowl and the mixture will begin to bubble. Add 240-480ml of boiling water (enough liquid to completely submerge the silver pieces). Place the pieces in the bowl in a single layer. Soak lightly tarnished items for 30 seconds or up to 3 minutes for heavily tarnished items. Take out the pieces with tongs, dry them and polish them.
Polish the precious metal with ketchup
For extra shine, you can try cleaning silver with ketchup. The sauce can be used as a paste to polish tarnished metals like brass and silver.
How to clean silver with toothpaste
Cleaning the precious metal with toothpaste can produce brilliant results. Dilute the toothpaste with a little water, polish the silver with a soft cloth and rinse. Do not use toothpaste on silver plated items as it can damage the surface.
Water and cornstarch for shine
If your silver has lost its luster, you can polish it back up with water and cornstarch. Simply make a thick paste of cornstarch and water and apply to your silver items. Then rub the items with a towel to polish the surface. This makes it easy to restore the shine of silver jewelry and silver cutlery.
Cleaning silver with lemon juice and olive oil
This silver cleaning technique is perfect for a quick refresher of your silver jewelry and tableware. Mix 1 teaspoon olive oil with 125 ml lemon juice. Dip a cloth in the mixture and polish your silver. Once you have achieved a nice shine, rinse the cloth and let it dry.
Clean silver with beer or coca cola
Pour some beer or coke into a mug and let your silver soak in it for a few minutes. Then take out your jewelry and rub it with a clean cloth. This method of silver cleaning is a well-known trick that works surprisingly well. Sure, it won’t eliminate very severe tarnishes, but will remove light tarnishes and bring the silver back to life.