How to Clean Silver Without Chemicals

2 Materials
10 Minutes
I hate cleaning silver jewelry. All that rubbing, polishing and trying to get into all the nooks and crannies. Plus the smell and feel of silver polish...Yuck! I have looked for years for a better solution and nothing really worked as well as I'd like it to. Until now.
I finally found a great way to clean Sterling Silver jewelry. It's simple, cheap and does not use any heavy chemicals. In fact, you should have everything you need in your kitchen.

Here's what I used: 
  • Glass baking pan
  • Baking Soda
  • Aluminum foil
  • Boiling Water

All you need to do is line the baking pan with the aluminum foil. (I used the kind that's already cut into sheets and it worked great) Place jewelry on top of the foil. Try not to overlap pieces and spread out chains so as much surface as possible is touching the foil. Sprinkle with baking soda. Pour boiling water to cover the jewelry in the pan and let it set for a few minutes. 
Fish the jewelry out with some tongs and rinse under cool water. I wiped it off with a soft cloth to remove any residue and it was good as new! You shouldn't have to buff the jewelry at all, but if some tarnished spots remain you can either buff them or return them to the solution for another minute.
I honestly couldn't believe how well this worked! I mean, some of this jewelry was old and hadn't been cleaned in years. (probably since the 80's 😂) I had quit wearing it because the color had looked so dull, and even dirty in some cases. Now it sparkles like new. Best of all, I didn't have to rub with silver polish and a rag for hours or get my hands coated in that weird smelling polish.

Complete instructions are on the blog, plus there is a video where you can actually watch it working! If you're looking for more cleaning hacks check out my  8 Different Uses For Denture Tablets which are absolutely A-mazing for cleaning difficult items.

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Sc21172596 Sc21172596 on Mar 05, 2018

    Hi, great post! Do you know would this work for silverwear? I have an antique tea set that badly needs polishing but I'm with you with the smell and feel with cleaning silver, so if I could do it this way it'd be Fantastic. Thank you.


  • Joan Freda Joan Freda on Mar 13, 2018

    I have a set of silver candle holders that need cleaning. But I would need a solution deeper than what you would need for jewelry. What would be the ratio of water to baking soda in order to clean these pieces?

  • Rebecca H Rebecca H on Nov 06, 2018

    Do you place the silver jewelry on top of the shiny or dull side of the aluminum foil? Thanks for the great tip


Join the conversation

6 of 10 comments
  • MissEm MissEm on Feb 11, 2018
    Ya, this never worked for me, or my antique silver jewelry. Don't do this if you have ANY kind of stone, bc the adhesive they use to ensure the stone doesn't fall out, has some sort of strange reaction, and turns BLACK! With a rainbow hue to it, and it's a BEAST to remove! Take it from a vintage/antique silverholic! I ended up finding a great product that I was quite skeptical about at first, and used slowly... I can't remember the name, but I got it at a huge antique show in Brimfield, MA. Sorry, no help, lol, but they said they don't sell online so, look for them at antique shows. They had a spray & cream. Works great. NOT this method tho...

    • See 1 previous
    • Patti Duerrler Patti Duerrler on Mar 13, 2018

      I to bought something at Brimfield. Was it called TopBrite? can't be positive but it was amazing. The one I got looked like a tube of toothpaste.

  • Janny Janny on Feb 23, 2018

    A product called QuickSilver used to be sold to do this very thing [it was just a sheet of aluminum and when people found that out is when aluminum foil began to be used]. Back in the 60s probably. It did exactly as described above, removed a minute amount of silver and left a gray residue to wipe off. The toothpaste idea, using hot water is what I use on all my jewellery [don't use it on opals]. It cleans the silver/gold and the stones. No chance of the stones coming out if they are prong set or in a bezel. If the jewellery was inexpensive and the stone is only glued down, I wouldn't use hot water.

    • See 1 previous
    • Janny Janny on Mar 05, 2018

      Yep. It was a solid sheet of aluminum. Took us a long time to figure out that you could just use foil!