I’m cleaning up items for an estate sale. Do you know how to make a homemade silver cleaner? I have some rings and a tea service to polish.
Sandra Miller, TN
There is no need to purchase expensive and caustic products to clean your silver pieces. It’s simple and cost-effective to make your own solutions for removing tarnish from silver. Cleaning sterling silver that is lightly tarnished just takes some lemon-lime soda.
All you need to do is soak the silver in the liquid while the acid makes them shine. But there are other ways to polish silver, too.
Let me tell you how to make a homemade silver cleaner with foil and salt. To begin, line a container with aluminum foil. Place the items that need cleaning inside right on top of the foil. Then prepare enough hot water to fill up the receptacle almost full. Add a large quantity of salt to the water so that’s it’s very briny.
Now pour the salty water into the container with the items. The electrochemical reaction that results will dissolve the tarnish right away. Afterward, rinse the silver and dry it with a soft cloth.
Of course, you can also use several household items to shine silver. The full list appears on this page: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/homemade-silver-cleaner/
Be careful if you’re cleaning silver plate and not solid silver. Some abrasive materials like lemon juice and salt or diatomaceous earth could damage the surface. The best way for how to clean silver plate is in hot water with a little baking soda and a piece of aluminum foil. This mild solution will not scratch the plate and gets it nice and shiny again.
Otherwise, simple things like ketchup, cream of tartar, and cornstarch are used for removing tarnish from silver. You can also use vinegar to clean silver in combination with baking soda as a homemade cleaner for jewelry. The only exception may be if the rings have precious stones that the acid may mar.
Also, you may have heard that toothpaste is suitable for cleaning silver. It is sometimes, depending on what’s in the paste. It might be best to pass on this technique for now.
Finally, keep tarnish at bay by storing the silver wrapped in a clean cloth and sealed in a plastic bag.