7 Tricks to Clean Your Silver at Home

· August 7, 2016
To keep silver items from tarnishing and to avoid spending a lot of money restoring their original luster, it's best to give them a light cleaning once a month.

There are some types of silver that hardly tarnish at all because they’re manufactured with an electroplating process that deposits a thin layer of rhodium on the surface of the metal.

However, many people own antique silver, which darkens over time from exposure to dust and other environmental agents.

Contrary to popular belief, silver doesn’t oxidize. Instead, it reacts with hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere, causing it to tarnish.

Luckily, you don’t have to go out and buy expensive polishes to restore the shine to your silver items.

Keep these following tricks in mind to clean your silver and restore your precious items’ shine.

1. Saltwater


A simple salt water solution can be used to clean smaller items, like chains and other jewelry.


  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup water


  • Combine the salt with one cup boiling water and allow your silver items to soak overnight.
  • In the morning, discard the liquid and polish the metal with a dry cloth.

Check out this article: 10 Cleaning Tips to Make Old Items Look New

2. Baking soda and vinegar

The combination of baking soda and vinegar is one of the most practical cleaning tips for various uses around the home.

Its properties remove the tarnish that covers silver items to leave them clean and shining like new.


  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup white vinegar


  • Slowly incorporate the baking soda into the vinegar (it will start to fizz).
  • Once the baking soda is completely dissolved, immerse the silver and scrub with a clean cloth.
  • Finish by polishing with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat the process, if necessary.

3. Toothpaste


This is one of the many alternative uses for toothpaste. Toothpaste makes a great polish for silver and other metal objects.


  • Toothpaste
  • Hot water
  • Mild soap


  • Wash the object to be polished in hot water with mild soap.
  • Rub the object with a liberal amount of toothpaste.
  • After polishing for 5 minutes, rinse and dry well with an absorbent cloth.

4. Cream of tartar

Cream of tartar is also excellent for cleaning silver, but is not as well known. This ingredient will remove the tarnish and leave the metal with an incredible shine.


  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 liter water


  • Combine the cream of tartar, salt and water in a saucepan.
  • Mix everything well and set over medium-low heat.
  • Add the silver to be cleaned and let boil in the solution for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, take out the metal and let cool before polishing with a dry cloth.

5. Aluminum foil


The aluminum foil trick is one of the most popular methods for removing tarnish and leaving your silver looking brand new.


  • Aluminum foil
  • Hot water
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • Take a large sheet of aluminum foil and use it to line the inside of a large boil.
  • Fill the bowl with hot water and add the salt.
  • Submerge your silver items and let them soak for 10 minutes.
  • Dry and polish them with a soft cloth to leave them shining like new.

6. Banana peel

The inside of a banana peel contains substances that help clean metal objects.


  • 1 banana peel


  • Take a fresh banana peel and use it to polish your silver.
  • You may need to repeat the process several times with a few different banana peels.

7. Lemon


This citrus fruit has many uses around the home. It’s great for cleaning and restoring silver.


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Cut a lemon in half, dip it in the salt and use it to polish the surface of the metal.
  • Let work for a few minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.

Also read: How to Use Lemon and Other Natural Cleaning Products

A few more tips…

Whenever you’re cleaning, it’s really important to protect your hands with gloves and work in a well ventilated area. Certain gases could be released that can be harmful to your health.

To keep your silver from becoming really tarnished, try to give your items a light cleaning at least once a month.