How to Clean Silver

Cleaning silver doesn't have to be tedious. A few pantry ingredients, like salt and baking soda, make easy work of removing tarnish from silver jewelry and dishware. Use our easy tips for cleaning silver, and enjoy sparkling accessories in no time.

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It's no secret that we love silver. Family heirlooms such as vases, platters, or jewelry make beautiful displays and cherished gifts. Silver does need some upkeep, though, as the precious metal is susceptible to tarnish. Don't let it ruin your favorite pieces—a little maintenance goes a long way. Try this easy cleaning technique and watch grime wash away before your eyes: All you need are a few common household items.

What You'll Need

  • Boiling water
  • Aluminum foil
  • Pan or pot
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Soft cloth

How to Clean Silver: The Method

For smaller items: (cutlery, jewelry)

  1. Line a pot or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Make sure the foil covers the entire surface.
  2. Fill the pan with boiling water.  
  3. Add 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the water and stir. You should see bubbles form.
  4. Place silver pieces in the solution and mix.
  5. Let sit for up to 5 minutes.
  6. Once cool, remove and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

For larger items: (dishes, trays, candlesticks)

  1. Line your sink with foil. Again, make sure to cover the entire surface, including the edges.
  2. Pour boiling water into the sink. Use enough water so that your pieces will be fully submerged.
  3. Add 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup salt to the water. Stir the mixture. Bubbles will form!
  4. Place silver pieces in the solution.
  5. Allow pieces to soak for up to 30 minutes.
  6. Remove items when cool and dry them off with a soft cloth.

VoilĂ ! Your pieces should now be shinier and more reflective. They're all set to display or wear proudly once again.

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