Sunday, July 24, 2016

How To Clean Silver

I am preparing for an intimate wedding reception this coming weekend.  Part of the preparation is cleaning, repainting, and sometimes resurfacing (chalkboards) rental items prior to the event.  As I was cleaning my silver pieces I thought it would be great to blog this information as it seems to be a little secret many don't like to share.  Anyhow, if you have heirloom silver or found an old beautiful vintage silver piece but don't like how it has tarnished over time, then give this a try! 

 (Please be careful not to leave your silver for more than 5 minutes and practice this at your own risk.  I am not a silver smith or professional silver cleaner, this has worked for me and I do not use it too often until I really need to.  These tips were given to me by a large import company who imports silver chaffing dishes, pitchers, candelabras etc. and it sits on their shelves for a while before selling and is part of their routine cleaning regimen.  They have been in business for over 20 years.)

What you will need:

  1. Baking Soda
  2. Salt
  3. Hot Water 
  4. Aluminum Foil (bright side up)
  5. Soft Cloth

Line aluminum foil in tub or bucket with shinier side up

Fill with hot water or add some boiling water to tap water

Add  1 tablespoon of baking soda and sprinkle a little bit of salt.  (I added more because I have a large tub)


My tarnished trumpet vase cannot wait to be cleaned!

Its going in!

The silver should make contact with the foil (Don't leave in for more than 5 minutes)

Sitting in the water for the first 30 seconds and already see changes in the color

I turned it around and voila!

And here it is with just a few minutes of bathing in this solution.

My Candelabra Before Bath

My candelabra Before bathing in the solution

My Candelabra After Bathing Solution

My Candelabra After
The candelabra to the left was bathed in the solution and the one to the right was not. 
After bathing your silver in this solution be sure and rinse off, dry, and polish with soft towel.  My photographs really don't do the results justice.  I had a little bit of a hard time trying to catch the light at the correct angles.  But I think that these photographs give you an idea.

This will give you another reason to head out to the next flea market or estate sale near you!

Happy Cleaning!