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How to Clean Silver the Easy Way.

Updated on June 12, 2010

Country Tips from Whizzer

The easiest way to clean silver.

Don't you just hate trying to clean silver? Whatever product you use never seems to last too long before the dreaded tarnish begins to re-appear. Even when you do start cleaning, the tarnish is usually transferred from your precious antique straight on to your hands.

Well, there is an easy and traditional way to keep your silver sparkling clean with little effort. It works on all types of silver, either solid silver or silver plate. I use it on both new and antique silver and no harm has been done. You will see products advertised that will do exactly the same thing using a 'special plate' that you put in the water and add washing soda to it. I'm going to save you mega-bucks here because this is the very same technique only very much cheaper. Well, here's the secret...

  • First you need to get a plastic bucket, bowl or other plastic container in which you can fully submerse your silver object.
  • Get some ordinary aluminium foil (the type used in cooking).
  • Get some ordinary washing soda.
  • Put the kettle on to boil.
  • Now, first you need to completely line the bowl or bucket with the foil and then add some washing soda to the bucket. The quantity will depend on the size of the bowl but about one cup of washing soda to half a bucket of water will do.
  • Now add boiling water to the bowl / bucket until it is deep enough to submerse your object.

Then add your silver to the bucket. It will fizz fairly violently (that is normal) and it will give off a bit of a smell (like rotten eggs). You can do this outside if the smell puts you off but it's not that bad really.

Leave your silver in the bucket until all fizzing stops and then remove it. BUT BE CAREFUL because the water AND THE SILVER OBJECT will be HOT! Best to use a wooden spoon or something to remove it.

Rinse your silver under cold running water to both cool it down and to remove any traces of washing soda.

Hey Presto! Your silver will be sparkling clean. All it needs is a bit of a buff with a soft clean cloth to really bring out the sparkle.

When you discard the water you will see all the tarnish has transferred from your silver onto the foil and not a speck on your hands. This technique is really great for very intricate items that are very difficult to clean with ordinary silver polish and it's environmentally friendly too!



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