Mission Organization: Week 41 - Cleaning the Silver, FAST!

Silver pieces on display are so beautiful when they are polished and shining, but all too often mine look like these tarnished pieces. I can spend literally hours working to polish my silver pieces, and then it seems I turn around and they are tarnished again. Thanks to my sister, I have found that there is an alternative way to clean silver that is FAST and doesn't require the drudgery of polishing.

Instead of polishing the tarnish away, some simple ingredients added to water can cause a chemical reaction that will make the tarnish disappear from silver. It almost sounds too good to be true, but the directions for this quick and easy way to clean silver can found at About.com Chemistry.

To clean your silver pieces you will need:

Glass bowl or sink
Aluminum foil
Steaming hot water
Baking soda

Line the bowl or sink with aluminum foil. The water can be heated in the microwave or on the stove, but it needs to be steaming hot. Pour the water into the aluminum foil lined bowl or sink, then add 2 teaspoonfuls each of baking soda and salt.

Place the tarnished silver pieces in the steaming mixture so that they are resting on the foil. Leave the tarnished pieces in the water for 5 minutes, or less time if you see that the tarnish is gone. 

Rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth, no polishing, but look at the shine!

Here's a silver tray that had one end dipped into the mixture, see the difference?

And a bread tray that has one end cleaned, isn't it amazing?

My tarnished silver tongs . . .

. . . came out shiny after their dip!

Where did all that tarnish go? It stayed behind in the bowl on the aluminum foil. The chemical reaction causes a bit of an unpleasant smell while the pieces are being dipped, but the minor odor is well worth the speed of the cleaning, no more hours of polishing silver for me!


  1. I use this method for cleaning my silver jewelry as well. blessings, marlene

  2. Thanks for the recipe! QVC sells something that does the same thing and I bet it is just the soda and salt! It is magic....magic through chemistry! LOL!

  3. Your silver looks shiny and bright, Anita! I'll try this method out. I hate polishing silver and anything to save time and energy I will love. I used to try a method with foil and Tide detergent way back in the day. I like the soda and salt method.

  4. Found this on Pinterest. Doing it right now. My set is from my great grandmother. It is very tarnished. I soaked it as you suggested. It's working. I doubled up on salt and baking soda only because I'm using a large container to soak the pieces. It's working better than I imagined. I have the windows open to help with the smell. Reminds me of a place around here (in Oklahoma) with mineral wells. Smells like sulphur. I just wanted to say thank you! It's the only thing of hers I have and I can't wait to put it in my hutch.