Making Your Silverware Shiny
If you’re having a family meal or simply feeling fancy, you might want to take out your silverware. Your stunning silverware service can lift the mood of everyone.
However, if you’re like other people and don’t use your silvery regularly, the tarnish won’t impress anyone.
How do you make silverware shiny? There are many things at home to help your silverware get shiny, such as baking soda, toothpaste, and more. If the silver parts you need to shine are delicate or valuable, get them professionally cleaned.
Need to shine your silverware before visitors come, but you don’t have a drop of polish in your house?
Learn how to clean and make your silver shine with things that you might already have at home.
Keeping Your Silverware Shiny
Use Your Silverware
Silver isn’t just for special occasions. Regular use brings out that rich patina.
Rinse right after using to prevent tarnishing, as sulfides from foods like eggs and mayonnaise can stain.
Use a gentle dish detergent but avoid anything with citrus. Silver made after 1939 is dishwasher-safe. Just remove before the drying cycle!
Remove the tarnish from even the most intricate parts. Put the silver on aluminum foil in your drain, spray with baking soda, and pour boiling water over it.
The tarnish will come off. Rinse and pat dry to prevent wet stains. If you like store-purchased polish, make sure to apply it in a circular motion, then wash and rinse.
Store Your Silverware Properly
Proper storing of silver limits tarnish and upkeep.
Place a piece of chalk nearby if you store your silver in a cabinet—it absorbs chemicals that cause discoloration. You can also store it in packed plastic containers.
Rules for Storing Silver
There are places to store silver that help to avoid unnecessary tarnishing and that protect the silver from being destroyed.
Be sure that all of your silver pieces are stored correctly. If you do, they will require only simple polish, at most, instead of big repairs.
- Store silver in a location without high humidity and out of extreme heat.
- Store silver in flannel treated cloth and bags to help retard tarnishing.
- Do not wax silver unless it’s for open-display non-food use.
- Use your silver items regularly.
- Clean your silver items regularly.
How to Clean Silver Naturally
Cleaning tarnished silver, even highly tarnished ware, can be done with a homemade remedy.
Try these simple methods to clean tainted silver and watch the grime drain away from your skin.
Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda
What you’ll need:
- Boiling water
- Pan or pot
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
- Soft cloth
- Aluminum foil
- Line a pot with aluminum foil. Be sure the foil covers the whole surface.
- Fill the pan with hot water.
- Apply 1/4 cup of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to the water and mix. You’re going to see bubbles form.
- Place the silver pieces in the solution and blend carefully so that the pieces do not adhere to each other or the tub’s sides.
- Let the silver rest for up to 5 minutes.
- When cold, dry with a soft cloth.
For large silver items:
Use the sink as a vessel to clean big silver objects such as cumbersome trays, candlesticks, and pans.
- Line the drain with foil. Again, make sure you cover the whole surface, including the corners.
- Add hot water to the drain. Use only enough water to immerse the bits completely.
- Apply 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of salt to the water. Stir in the mixture. Bubbles are going to form.
- Place the pieces of silver in the solution.
- Enable the pieces to soak for up to 30 minutes.
- Remove the products when they’re cold, then dry with a soft fabric.
Your silver items will be shiny and clear of tarnish. They’re all set to use or show. You’re never going to be left asking how to clean the silver again!
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda solution is perfect for producing an explosion in a volcanic science experiment.
But did you know that this pair can also be used to clean silverware?
- A glass baking dish
- ½ cup of distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 1-2 cups of boiling water (enough to submerge your silver completely.)
- A microfiber cloth
- Cover the baking dish using aluminum foil. Make sure the lighter side is pointing upwards.
- Mix the baking soda and the sea salt. Sprinkle with this mixture in the dish.
- Apply the vinegar to the bowl. You will begin to see fizzing as the baking soda and vinegar react with each other.
- Add hot water, taking care not to spill or scald.
- Now put the silverware on the bottom of the baking bowl. Have only a single sheet of silver bits, each of which touches the aluminum foil.
- Let the silver soak. Lightly bleached bits would need to be sprayed for only about 30 seconds. Silverware with strong tarnish might need to soak for up to three minutes.
- Use tongs to clean the silverware, so you don’t burn yourself.
- Clean and buff the silver with a cloth or microfiber.
- Repeat with a fresh solution on any extra rounds of silver that need to be washed.
Toothpaste is not solely about polishing your pearly whites. You may also use it to add the shine back to the rusty silverware.
- A microfiber cloth
- A soft toothbrush
- Warm water
- Brush toothpaste on tarnished silver with a dry microfiber cloth. Use a light touch to keep the toothpaste from rubbing the silver.
- Gently clean the detailed silverware areas with a toothbrush instead of a rag. Never scrub, or you will destroy your silver.
- Rinse the silver item under warm water until none of the toothpaste is left.
- Wipe the products dry with a new microfiber cloth.
Baking soda is also admired for its ability to neutralize odors.
- Baking soda
- A bowl
- Microfiber cloths
- A soft toothbrush
- In a bowl, add three parts baking soda to one part water. Stir until you’ve got a paste.
- Dip your microfiber cloth in the paste and softly smooth the mixture onto your silver bits. As for the toothpaste, you want to be careful so that you don’t scratch your pieces.
- Use a toothbrush to gently clean any engravings or fine details. Again, take care to not scrub because if you do, you’re going to ruin your silver.
- Rinse the silver bits under hot water and clear the traces of baking soda.
- Dry the silverware immediately with a new microfiber cloth.
More Tips and Tricks For Cleaning Silver
There are many home remedies for silver washing. As for every new cleaning form, try these methods in inconspicuous areas before diving in.
Polish Silver With Ketchup
Try washing silver with ketchup for extra sheen. You can use the condiment as a paste for polishing tarnished metals, including brass and silver.
Restore Shine to Silver With Toothpaste
Silver-cleaning with toothpaste can yield sparkling results.
Dilute the toothpaste with a little water and polish the silver with a smooth cloth, then rinse.
Do not use toothpaste on silver-plated products, as the finish can be corroded.
Alcohol can also be used to clean tarnished silverware but has one limitation: It may not be suitable for highly tarnished silverware.
To use this process, blend four parts of water with one part of alcohol. Dip a soft towel in the mixture and clean the silverware until the surface is shimmering.
Salt and Baking Soda
Aluminum foil, salt, and baking soda is an easy way to achieve shiny silverware.
- Cover a tub with aluminum foil and apply a teaspoon of salt and baking soda to a cup of hot water. You may increase the amount based on the amount of silverware to be washed.
- Cover the bowl with hot water, then add the mixture and the silverware to ensure that the silverware does not clash. You should also apply half a cup of vinegar to the mixture to make the operation smoother.
This is a simple method. Depending on the extent of tarnishing, the silverware should be soaked somewhere from 30 seconds to several minutes.
If the silverware looks bleach-free, take it out with a tong. Buff it up and rinse it well.
Cleaning Silver-Plated and Antique Silver Items
Knowing how to clean silver-plated objects, such as silver necklaces, rings, and other jewelry, can be a little difficult.
These parts have silver plating on another metal surface, so intense washing or immersion may be needed.
Combined with normal wear and tear, this can cause flaking.
Test approaches on inconspicuous areas before following with a deep scrub.
If your silver has gemstones or other embellishments, use a few drops of gentle soap or even baby powder.
Mix one of them with water to clean it off before storage.
You may also use cotton swabs or a fluffy brush to get into the nooks and crannies.
When you’re using a brush, use a light hand to avoid accidental scratches.
You might want to ask a professional restoration company to help with antique silver or pieces with a high value.
Polishing sterling silver and silver antiques does not take hours to master.
Routine care, preventive maintenance, and a little polishing can help make your silver pieces shiny for years to come.