Cleaning Silver

My New Year's clean sweep as usual turned into a week long project where I get in the weeds trying to organize the house for a fresh start. Cleaning up after the holiday parties turned into a complete reorg of every serving piece in the house. I decided to give a try to an idea I'd seen on Pinterest for cleaning silver. I collect yard sale silver plated serving pieces so I was looking for a quick way to shine them up. I lined the sink with foil, added some generous scoops of salt and baking soda and filled the sink with scalding hot water. The chemical reaction resulting from the aluminum, salt and soda removed the tarnish! It actually worked! Lesson learned. Dip the entire piece at once or you'll get a line of demarcation on your piece. I also kept adding hot water and more ingredients because the hotter the water, the quicker it works. Remove the pieces from the solution and buff the remaining spots off with a cotton cloth.
Prepping the sink
The ingredients
Test run
You can see the lip where it wasn't submerged fully. 5 min for the piece, but another 15 to get this to come off.
I went a little overboard
The tarnish transferred to the foil

Danielle B
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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3 of 34 questions
  • Ashley Ashley on Nov 01, 2019

    You need hot, almost boiling water, to put the silver in, otherwise the salt and baking soda won't react with the foil to clean the silver. Also, has anyone else had issues with buildup on their silver after using this method??? It looks great for a few hours, then starts to show signs of residue...

  • Kelli Cook Kelli Cook on Apr 14, 2020

    You boil the silver jewelry?

  • Vicky Sue Virzuela Vicky Sue Virzuela on Aug 08, 2020

    Isn’t it dangerous to be mixing these chemicals?


Join the conversation

2 of 85 comments
  • Jenny Jenny on Aug 07, 2020

    Beware everyone this works on solid silver and you may get away with doing it on silver plate but it removes the corrosion plus a thin layer of silver : you are after all creating an electrolytic cell. The layer of corroded silver is removed by electrolysis onto the aluminium. If you have silver plated items the day will soon dawn when you are down to base metal.

  • Amy Hunsinger Amy Hunsinger on Aug 24, 2020

    Also, never submerge a silver piece that has a weighted base. If water/solution gets inside your piece will be ruined.