Thursday, May 1, 2014

How Do You Polish Silver?

There are probably a million and one ways to polish silver, but the one way that has worked best for me over the years is baking soda.  And, if you have children, you can kill two birds with one stone by letting them watch while you teach the chemistry behind it! :)

Basically, I line a large cooking pot with aluminum foil.  You can also line the bottom of a sink.  I then place my item to be polished in the pot.  In this particular case, it was my tarnished silver plated footed bowls.  See below.

See how black they are?

I then take another pot and boil water.  I pour 1/4 cup of baking soda and a couple of teaspoons of salt into the boiling water.  I then pour the boiling water (with baking soda) mix over the silver item and cover it with a tight fitted lid.  This is when the chemical reaction happens (aluminum foil, baking soda and salt).  I let it soak 5 minutes and then remove.  I rinse with water and rub dry with a microfiber cloth.

And, viola!  Aren't they so pretty and shiny??  So easy and quick to do!


  1. I tried the same method a few weeks back and it works like a charm. I wish I had known about it years ago. :)

  2. LOVE this! I immediately left the computer, grabbed the silver I'd been putting off cleaning, and got to work. LOVE the results! thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I learned about using baking soda to polish silver not too long ago. I've been procrastinating on polishing mine, but it looks like yours was super easy to do, and you got a result. I will have to try this soon.

  4. I tried this many years ago and shortly afterward read that this is the absolute worst thing to do to your silver. As for mine, this method removed all the lovely patina within the ornate design - leaving me to wish I'd never heard of this method. The salt will pit silver and the boiling water will loosen joints of your knives and teapot handles.
    I know I probably sound like a fussy - mama, but just don't want you to have regrets over this so-called short cut method.

    1. Thank you for your input. So, what do you do instead?

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  6. Line your kitchen sink with foil. Add Tide POWDER soap for clothes. A cup or so will do and HOT tap water. Swish it around, add your silver and let soak until tarnish is gone!

  7. There is a wonderful source on line, for all your silver needs and collecting, Silver Magpie. I wonder if we should ask her what she uses to polish? My Mother has always told me to "Use the good silver" so you don't have to polish~

  8. I'm curious now too. My Mom has always polished a few silver pieces for me. I'll have to ask her what she uses. I know she has tried a little bit of everything. I'll let you kno.

  9. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful article about polishing silver! I will try these tricks at home! Cockfosters Carpet Cleaners Ltd.