Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homemade Silver Cleaner

We've recently acquired a few old silver platters.  They're cool, but in disgusting shape.  The worst of which I've been wanting to hang on my wall, but it's coated in tarnish!  I really didn't want to have to buy silver polish and/or use nasty chemicals that my kids could potentially one day get into.  So I turned to the trusty ol' internet!

Here's the before of the platter (I think the picture makes it look better then it really was!):

Here's how you do it.

You'll need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Large Pot 
  • Baking Soda 
  • Salt  
  • Water
Fill pot high enough to cover whatever you are cleaning (if you're cleaning jewelry, you only need a little sauce pan, but DO NOT USE THIS METHOD IF THERE ARE PRECIOUS STONES...I don't know what it'll do to it!).  Pour in about 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Bring to a boil.

Place silver in the boiling water for a few minutes (3-5 minutes should suffice, but longer if its real bad). 

Carefully remove from water (using tongs?).  Rinse with soap and water.  Wipe clean with a clean dish rag. 

Repeat if necessary.

I didn't have a pot big enough for the platter, so after the water boiled, I dumped it in an empty, plugged sink.  You can also put it in a large glass baking dish (which probably would have been better).  It may not have been as efficient, but it did the job!

See how much cleaner it is then before?  Because it was so tarnished, I still need to do it one more time, but it looks SO much better!

You can kinda see how all of the tarnish collects onto the foil.  Unfortunately for my sink, it somewhat collected on that too.  But it was nothin' a little baking soda couldn't get rid of.

Just a little tip on preventing tarnish when storing silver:  Wrap a piece of chalk loosely in a cheese cloth bag (the bag keeps it from marking up the surface of the silver) and store with your silver.  The chalk will inhibit tarnish by absorbing moisture!

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