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Project

DIY Silver Polish

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Before polishing, try washing tarnished silver with warm water and gentle dishwashing liquid and buffing dry with a soft cloth; for light tarnish, this might be sufficient.

  2. Step 2

    A frequently recommended, nontoxic trick is to fill an aluminum pan (or one lined with aluminum foil) with hot water, add salt and baking soda, and stir to dissolve. When you add the silver pieces, a chemical reaction occurs, removing tarnish. It's important to note that with this technique, the good tarnish (a desirable patina and the dark crevices in a pattern) may be removed as well, and pitting may result.

  3. Step 3

    Experts recommend using a good-quality commercial polish, and there are some less-toxic ones available.

Source
Healthy Home 2008, Spring 2008

Reviews (8)

  • NaturalMom5 27 Nov, 2013

    With regard to using camphor in your drawers, apparently camphor is VERY toxic. http://bkcreative.hubpages.com/hub/Warning-About-Camphor-Use "Our respiratory tract is particularly sensitive to camphor. This is thought to be due to its stimulation of nerve endings. Camphor crosses the mucous membranes, the skin, the placental barrier and can cause hepatoneurotoxicity - damage to the liver and the nerves."
    Does anyone have a non-toxic polish that doesn't damage the silver or remove the shine?

  • The Silversmith 7 Feb, 2013

    One of the best non-abrasive silver cleaners for very light tarnish is Purell Original Formula. You can see the results here: http://www.hermansilver.com/sanitizer.htm.

  • The Silversmith 1 Feb, 2013

    I'm a silver restoration & conservationist. Objects cleaned by this method may tarnish more quickly than silver that has been polished, for the object's surface will act like a sponge and more readily absorb tarnish-producing gases and moisture. The solution can also seep into hollow areas such as coffeepot handles, unsoldered spun beads around the tops of lightweight holloware, weighted pieces with minute holes, and any porous attachments.

  • DallasSilversmiths 3 Dec, 2012

    WHAT??!! Please Readers! NEVER use Salt to clean metals! Think about it? Salt on the roads cause rusting in the metal of cars!

    We are not happy to tell customer they must have their Tea Services and Flatware Re-Silvered because they used Salt that caused pitting and peeling of the silver on their pieces!

    If you want to try the aluminum foil process use ONLY Baking Soda (lots of it) and Boiling Hot water. After the chemical reaction of the foil and the soda "fizzes off" rinse w/ warm water

  • johannagoanna 20 Jul, 2010

    I just did this to clean my grandmothers silver cutlery that I have inherited. It worked beautifully. I also used bicarb to lightly clean off any left over tarnish, and that also worked well.

  • Lori_Budano 26 Dec, 2008

    Where do you find camphor cakes?

  • Airabelle 25 Dec, 2008

    I use camphor cakes in my china cabinet, on a little dish, out of sight. When you open the doors, its true, it does smell like I'm treating a head cold, but my silver is always sparkling. This method is great for large serving pieces and other large items.

  • Airabelle 25 Dec, 2008

    I use camphor cakes in my china cabinet, on a little dish, out of sight. When you open the doors, its true, it does smell like I'm treating a head cold, but my silver is always sparkling. This method is great for large serving pieces and other large items.