Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cleaning Silver - an off-topic tutorial

I lost my cloth I've used to clean silver - you know, a flannel cloth that has some kind of chemical that you can use to wipe tarnish off of small things.  It's vanished from my bathroom - no one seems to know what happened.  Maybe elves took it.

So I took it upon myself to figure out some other way to do this without resorting to the same polish I use for my table silver.  I had heard of a method using aluminum foil, and I thought I'd try.  And guess what, it works!

Here's how to do it:

Take a saucepan - I recommend a very clean glass one, as it's non-reactive.  At least a quart size is good.
A square of aluminum foil about 12" by 12", folded up and put into the bottom of the saucepan.
A teaspoon of table salt
A teaspoon of baking soda

Fill the saucepan about half full of water and put everything in it.  Bring the water to a good boil - and drop your silver in it.  If your water has boiled, you should see a difference almost immediately.  Take the silver out and polish it with a soft cloth. 

I don't recommend you use this with silver that has things glued to it, or if the silver has soft gemstones in it, like pearls, turquoise, or emeralds.

Before - all tarnishy and nasty and black.  You can't tell that pin is a dragonfly.

During.  Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

After.  All bright and shiny.

The aluminum was all icky and nasty afterwards.  I won't show you that.


  1. Interesting! I'm going to have to try that. What about the saucepan afterward? Is it still usable for cooking?

  2. Yup - all the ick went on the aluminum foil, so you just have to wash the saucepan normally and then it can be used for cooking.

  3. wow never heard of that one before.

  4. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [19 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  5. Aren't you the busy bee? Sorting your stash and shining the silver!