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Silver Cleaning Recipe

I believe this originally came from Heloise. I always lose it so I thought posting it here was a good idea.

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  • Put drain stopper in the sink and add the foil, one piece lengthwise and one across.
  • Pour in boiling water.
  • Add the baking soda and swish it around.
  • Place the silver pieces in the solution, making sure they touch the foil, and let stand for several minutes.
  • Carefully watch as the tarnish moves from the silverware to the foil.
  • Remove the pieces, rinse well, and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Only use this method occasionally, especially if you have silverplate.
  • This can only be done in your sink--enamel or porcelin ONLY!
  • DO NOT USE in a stainless steel sink.
  • This recipe should NOT be used on antique or priceless pieces and should be used only occasionally.
  • Keep in mind that this removes the oxide finish that adds subtle shadows, which create depth and dimension to detailed silver patterns.
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"I believe this originally came from Heloise. I always lose it so I thought posting it here was a good idea."
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  1. Roosie
    This did not work quite as well as I thought it would on extremely tarnished silver. But it still worked pretty well and my things turned from black to silver-y, but not glistening like if I had used polish on them. Certainly a good method if you're just trying to clean off a large amount of silver, but for heavily tarnished objects that you want to glisten, sticking to real silver polish is a better idea. I did find that this version of the recipe worked much better than a version with 1 TBS baking soda, 1 TBS salt. I also did not find that this cleaned the tarnish out of the cracks of my silver too much, which is actually nice as that lends to the depth of most pieces, but might not be ideal for something like silverware.
  2. zaar mate
    Works great! Nice to clean silver without having black hands afterwards ;-) Thanks!
  3. LonghornMama
    Works great!! Cleans immediately with no rubbing. I filled the sink with a stock pot of boiling water and just 2 T baking soda and 2 sheets foil and it still worked right away. Light sulfur odor, but nothing too bad. Cleaned an old silverplate cruet set and a tea service within minutes. Only problem I had was the large tray for the tea service, only because it wouldn't fit in the sink. Tried rigging the foil and hot solution to no avail and ended up hand polishing that one piece, which made me REALLY appreciate how fast the other pieces were done! Purists will say removing the tarnish from the patterns in silver detracts from its appearance, but who cares! I hate polishing silver, but even I can manage this a couple of times a year. Thanks for sharing!
  4. Bonnie Traynor
    I used this a couple of times the other day and believe me, it smells a lot better than the stuff in a bottle!! It works well too, although I had to use the stuff in the bottle to get the really tough stuff off after I used it. This is really easy to work with and you will most likely have everything on hand. Years ago I bought a silver cleaner mat that was based on this, lent it to my neighbor and never got it back. I have always wondered how well this worked, so now I know and will continue to use this. Thanks for sharing!!
  5. LadyPalm
    Worked like a charm on my mother's very, very old silver plated silverware. Make sure the water is boiling hot and you will have a perfect cleaner.
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