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Does Baking Soda Really Polish Silver?

Updated on March 27, 2011

Like me, you may have heard that baking soda is a natural, environmentally friendly way to polish your silver. However, how do you know if it really works?

I decided to test it out to see. I found two beautiful silver baskets at a local thriftstore, but the baskets were awfully tarnished. These were my test subjects.

Two tarnished baskets, only cost $8 for both.
Two tarnished baskets, only cost $8 for both.
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First, I made a paste with the baking soda and water. I added the water a bit at a time because I didn't want to make it to watery. After each water addition, I mixed it with a fork.

When the mixture had the consistency of a chalky toothpaste, I began rubbing it onto the silver basket with a tea towel. I did it in the sink because I thought it might be messy. For the smaller grooves, I used a toothbrush.

After rubbing the baking soda paste all over the basket, I rinsed it off with warm water. Then, I dried it well.

It worked! However, I suggest you wear gloves while handling the baking soda if you have sensitive skin because it is very acidic.

So, yes, baking soda does really polish silver.


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      jan 7 years ago

      do you know what is happening because i am doing this for my science fair project and i need backgroung info

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      travon 7 years ago

      were can i getTwo tarnished baskets, only cost $8 for both. in chicago

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      sharpesharpe 7 years ago

      that is correct, baking soda is a base, the chemical opposite of an acid. but it is a type of salt which can dry out your skin with prolonged contact. although it is a very useful health and beauty product. I use a little Baking Soda and water as an exfoliant on my face. you can also use it to wash your hair instead of shampoo and then use a apple cider (the acid) to rinse it out. the acidic/basic reaction is really good for clearing out hair product build-up. it is also the only thing that has made my dandruff and scalp irritation go away for good! baking soda and water are also good for heart burn. baking soda and white vinegar are great for cleaning something that has been ground down into your carpet.

      Baking Soda - Gotta Love It!!

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      Link 8 years ago

      Baking soda is a base, not an acid. I didn't know it bothered people's skin. Maybe if you soak in it for a while.

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      Chem High School Student 8 years ago

      Haha i have a funny story involving baking soda and cleaning silver. For an extra credit assignment for my Chemistry class i was assigned to line a bread pan with aluminum foil. Then add 7.5 grams of baking soda, 8 grams of salt, and 1 liter of water. Next, place tarnished silver in the pan and boil on a stove. Of course i used a glass pan because a metal aluminum pan won’t work on my electric stove top. So after heating for a few minutes the pan exploded making a mess of glass, salt/baking soda water and aluminum foil... for the few minutes it was in the silver did clean up a little but it wasn’t fun to clean up afterwards lol well just wanted to share

    • AndyBaker profile image

      AndyBaker 9 years ago from UK

      Wow!That's quite a shine you've got on the finished piece!

    • betherickson profile image

      betherickson 9 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Stacie. This is so neat. Never thought baking soda can be use to polish silverwares. Brilliant idea. Love it.

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      Sharon 10 years ago

      Thanks for takingh the time to post your story... I'll go home tonight and use my soda rather than going out to buy some toxic chemical polish. Cheers sister! Sharon from Vancouver BC

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      Another great hub, you are the official Mythbuster for Hubpages. Cheers.

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      ericsomething 10 years ago

      When I worked in a coin shop (many moons ago) that's what we used, too. I'm talking about on collector-grade silver dollars, and the baking soda is nonabrasive enough for them.

    • Lela Davidson profile image

      Lela Davidson 10 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

      This is WONDERFUL! Love the pictures. I am on a mission to "green up" my cleaning supplies and this certainly helps. Thank you.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Stacie that is a great one...You are so clever..Love you..G-Ma