Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pin#3 “Polishing” Silver with salt, baking soda, and water bath in aluminum foil

silverThis pin says you can remove the tarnish from your silver just by leaving it in a sink lined with aluminum foil filled with water and a half cup each baking soda and salt for 30 minutes.   The tarnish is supposed to magically leave your silver and stick to the aluminum foil.
I’m lucky enough to have acquired a few silver (ok silver plate) items over the years which I LOVE.  I love the classic traditional feel.  I HATE polishing it!  It’s like you know you have to do it when you buy these things but you think “eh whatever it’s so pretty!”.  Then those pretty things start looking sorta goldish and you ignore it because you can somehow justify it looks cool and unexpected or some other nonsense.  And then your silver stuff looks like this and there is no denying what you need to do.IMG_7570IMG_7571
So polishing sucks.  It’s smelly and messy and time consuming, so wouldn’t it be amazing if this one worked?  So after 30 minutes of soaking, my cake knife and server from my wedding looked the same…IMG_7576
BUT all I needed to do was wipe off all the tarnish with a cloth or paper towel and it was gone!  Small effort, no mess and no chemical!  Woohoo!
So then it was suggested to me (by my engineer Dad) to leave it soaking overnight and that he was sure it would work as claimed.  So seeing that I didn’t have anything else tarnished to do, my mom offered her candlesticks.
Wow right?  She said it’s only IMG_7591been since Thanksgiving since the last polish so I’m guessing these are way higher quality silver than my knife and server which hadn’t been polished, eh ehm, ever.  Anyways, so in a new bath they went. 

After 2 hours they looked like this!
And in the morning they looked like this.
So not much difference between 2 hours and 12 hours even though the lighting might make you think different.  But check out the foil!
I still dried these with a paper towel and got a little tarnish that was settled in the crevices of details but not much. 
Bottom line – awesome shortcut!
It’s not 100% foolproof.  Your piece needs to be submersible, which my frames were not.  The quality of your silver plays a role too.  I’m assuming this is because of the reactions needed to lift the tarnish to the foil.  And the more details and crevices it has the more rubbing you’ll have to do in the end but over all 2 hours soaking and 2 minutes drying it infinitely better than 2 hours washing, polishing and washing again!
Yay for shortcuts!
Keep Pinning!


  1. I always wonder about the shortcuts and the homemade versions of things (like ranch dressing, for example) but am too lazy to try it for fear of failure...so this is a really cool concept for a blog! I don't currently have any real silver (I don't think?) but if I ever do, a non-chemical way to clean it would be fabulous.

  2. Thanks Erin! I found myself trying these things out and being either thrilled or annoyed so I figured I'd try to spare others the hassle :) Actually, my sister tried it with her silver jewelry and she said it worked great except for where the chain was tangled and not as exposed - so I'm sure you do have something to try it on! Thanks for visiting!