Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Clean Silver

I love Silver.  I love it polished or tarnished; to me it is always pretty, but polished is best. I have some lovely silver that I have been blessed with from my Mom, my hubby and my Grandmother.  I treasure it, and love to use it for company or the holidays... and sometimes I even use it on an ordinary day,   because I think you should enjoy your blessings, and not keep them shut away only to be used on rare occasions.

My Mom gave me this silver several years ago, and I have loved having it and using it.

She got it when she  married  my Dad, and now I consider it a family heirloom.

This is some silver that I got from my Granny.

 I think it is very pretty.

I usually polish my silver around the holidays.....

cuz,  that's when I use it the most.

I have been looking for the little pitcher in this picture for quite some time.  I found it recently in a storage box. It goes with a tea set that Steve gave me years ago.  

It was very tarnished when I pulled it out of that box.

 I usually use  "Wrights Silver Cream" to clean and polish my silver.  It is a great product;
but I decided to try a silver cleaning recipe that I had been reading about.  It worked amazingly!

Here is all you have to do:

1. Put some aluminum foil in a container large enough to hold water and silver; such as a  pot or a large ceramic or glass bowl.  I had a large piece of aluminum foil that I saved from something, and I just used that and lined a pot with it.

2.  Add 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda, 

 3.  Add 1 Tablespoon Salt.

4.  Place your silver in the pot.

5.  Pour boiling water over the top.

Keep pouring until it is submerged.  It will begin to smell like ammonia.

6.  Swish the silver so that all is covered.  Allow to sit in the solution until the tarnish is gone (about 1- 20 minutes... my own experience had an immediate response to everything silver I put in it).  Just a little reminder, the silver will be very hot at this point; use a wash cloth or some tongs to remove it from the hot water.
The tarnish on this pitcher came off in the first 60 seconds.  I was amazed.  

Look at the difference.

This one went back in for another dunk to get the circle of tarnish off, then I rinsed it with cool water and wiped it  clean and dry with a soft cloth.


Clean and polish the silver until not only  the tarnish is gone, but also any yellow; it will look almost white.

Isn't it pretty?

If you have silver that you do not want the black patina taken out of the crevices, don't use this method of cleaning, because it will take every last bit of black out.  The above two pieces are examples of two different designs.  The one in the foreground is meant to have the black, so I only polished the spatula end of this one.

This little spoon belonged to my Grandmother; see how the tarnish is set into the crevices?  Look how this solution got the dark tarnish out of the crevices; it is the one on the bottom of the picture below.

I  like the "Wrights Silver Cream", it really is one of the best I've tried, and puts a beautiful polish on silver;  but it would have taken a lot of elbow grease with the "Wrights" to get all of that tarnish out. This is a wonderful silver cleaning solution, and easier and less expensive than anything you could buy. It is also great to use with silver jewelry; but I haven''t tried that yet.... that is my next experiment.  If you are cleaning something with silver plate, it will clean up well, unless the silver is worn or rubbed off. 

Silver Cleaning Solution

1 pot or container to put your cleaning solution and silver in.
Aluminum foil
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Salt
Boiling Hot water to fill

Place Aluminum foil into the pot (it doesn't have to completely cover the pot).  Add the Baking Soda
and Salt.  Put the silver in.  Put your hot water in so that it covers the silver.  Let sit from 1 to 20 minutes until tarnish has come off.


  1. Oh so pretty Pam!

    I love anything silver! And you have quite the collection of it. I don't have much silver to polish, but I got the cleaning recipe saved, so one day I can polish my own.
    How's the kitchen coming along?


  2. Wow Mom! I am AMAZED!! I tried this a year ago and now I know what I did wrong! I didn't use a pot, I used the sink. Your silver came out SO BEAUTIFUL!!! WOW! I think I may have to pull out all my silver TODAY and get to work lol :) I love you!!!

  3. Whao....amazing article. As a cleaning business owner, I will be encouraging my Clients to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing.


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  4. Everything looks so pretty and sparkling.



  5. Mom, this is so brilliant! I am so excited to try this! Now I just need all my silver back in Florida Ha ha! I actually forgot I didn't have it and was going to get my pot out and start polishing away!

    Love the tutorial and pictures. Also those pieces of silver of yours is like candy to my eyes!! We need to put those things to use I think. Maybe while I am visiting?

    Love you
    ~ Marie

  6. I am glad to know about this....your silver is gorgeous. There used to be an antique shop locally where the owner would tie little bundles of vintage silverware with a ribbon....and tag it around $3. I felt like I found treasure...=) I'll give your recipe a try, thank you..

  7. Hello Pammie, Once again I have felt almost like I was served a bit of hospitality visiting and reading this post. Your silver is amazing, and I am sure it is used often! I must look into getting some for my home, as the lst tea pot I bought cracked to my horror.
    I believe silver would be a better choice as it would not be ruined as easily.
    You're an inspiration to us Homekeepers!
    Blessings and a Big Hug, Roxy

  8. Wow, Pam. I am completely amazed. I almost sent all my silver stuff to a local charity shop because I just couldn't begin to think of cleaning the crevices in some of the pieces. This is wonderful! I'll let you know how I get on x

  9. I have read about this and wanted to try it, but someone told me that it is bad for the silver. Do you know anything about this?

    Beautiful blog!!

  10. I haven't heard or read anything about this being bad for the silver; but as I mentioned in the post, would be careful about using it on silver that has a nice patina in the crevices; in that respect, it could remove the lovely patina, and I could see that in that way it wouldn't be good for your silver. So far all looks well with my silver; no problems at all. Hope it goes well with you; I also left a comment on your blog.

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  13. I am trying to find the treated cloths for silver , I need large ones , do know where I can find them?

    1. You can find them on Amazon; when you get onto Amazon, just type in "Silver Polishing Clothes" in the Amazon search bar.

  14. Thank you for sharing the insight! Your article is very helpful and informative. I would like to read more updates from you.

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