Whether you’re having a party and realize that your silver punch bowl has seen better days or want to wear that fabulous find from the flea market that now looks tarnished from years of neglect, you’ll love this simple silver cleaner.
Cleaning silver doesn’t require expensive machines or strong chemicals. In fact, you’ll be able to do it with items you probably have right now in your kitchen. Tarnish is nothing more than oxidation of the silver. It has to do with a chemical change.
You can reverse that change and “de-oxidize” the silver with aluminum foil, baking soda, vinegar, salt and hot water all placed in a bowl with your silver.
When silver tarnishes, it’s reacting with the sulfur in the air. The sulfur combination creates a darker appearance that can vary from black to yellow or brown.
The baking soda, salt, and vinegar create a reaction that facilitates the breaking of the bond of the sulfur to the silver and creates a new bond to the aluminum foil.
You can get the same reaction by heating water with salt and baking soda in a container lined with aluminum foil and keep on a source of heat. That takes a bit longer to “un-bond” the sulfur from the silver and “re-bond” it to the aluminum.
There’s an electrochemical reaction when silver touches the aluminum foil. Your silver pieces got easily tarnished because of the sulfur-containing substances in the air. Aluminium has a higher affinity for sulfur than silver does while the hot water accelerates the reaction. This reaction does NO HARM to the silver.
If you’re in a pinch and want instant results, add some vinegar to do it. The reaction of baking soda and vinegar creates a chemical reaction that speeds the process, so it will only take minutes to see your jewelry sparkle again. Just rinse off the silver and dry it and it will look dazzling in minutes.
① Boil some water. Line dish/bowl with foil (sunny side up) while waiting for the water.
② Then, add 1 tbsp of salt & baking soda for each 1 cup of hot boiling water. Mix all together to dissolve all the granules so they won’t scratch your pieces. And finally add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
③ Place the silver on the dish, making sure all your silver pieces touch/sit in the aluminim foil.
④ Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and use a microfiber cloth to dry the pieces and be amazed.
Whether you’re preparing for your next party and want your flatware or silver dishes to look stunning or just want to clean all your jewelry and have it ready to wear, you won’t have to spend a fortune or take hours out of your schedule with this simple technique.
Best of all, it doesn’t damage the silver in any manner and doesn’t cost a fortune.
Credit: clean my space
Calleigh is passionate about inspiring others to a healthy living and encourages to re-discover their lifestyle. Her keen interest in health shines through in her written work on DIY skin care, beauty tips, healthy and active lifestyles.