Asked on Mar 5, 2013

how to polish tarnished silverware

SherrieCharlotte MJeanette S


I wanted to try to sell some old silver pieces - mostly silverplate. I spent an afternoon with silver polish and silver polish gloves. When I took a few pieces to a consignment shop, I was asked "will they shine up? We don't accept unpolished pieces." How do I get a polish that will meet the approval of the consignment shops.
4 answers
  • Marcy
    on Mar 6, 2013

    I think you should ask them to be more specific as what they mean by 'shine up' so that you know what exactly their expectations are. Were the pieces really dirty? Perhaps you just need another round of cleaning. Also, I've used gentle dish soap on some silver items after polishing them and its added shine.

  • Jeanette S
    on Mar 6, 2013

    Tarnish from silver is transferred to aluminum. The perfect item would be an old aluminum dishpan or pot (keep in mind that the "black tarnish" will transfer to the pan so don't use any of your good aluminum pans). In porcelain pan place a sheet of aluminum foil. Use about 1/2 cup of soda per qt. of water. Bring to a boil, move from heat and dip silver into water. Wash with warm soapy water immediately. Do not soak as it is cleaned immediately. Some commercial liquid cleaners leave the silver yellow which is not desirable. If you have large pieces, you could place aluminun in your sink and pour the hot liquid in the sink, then dip in pieces. I keep my silver jewelry pretty this way.

  • Charlotte M
    on Mar 7, 2013

    I tried the aluminum foil and that helped some. I had the best results for getting a sheen by using toothpaste.

  • Sherrie
    on Mar 7, 2013

    There are historical sights that tell you how to clean them, I would start there.

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