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Easy Homemade Silver Cleaner Recipes & Tips

Jennifer L. Betts
Woman polishing silverware

Clean silver is a sight to see. Sparkling fine silver and silver-plated flatware can be a hostess' best friend. It can also turn an ordinary tablescape into an extraordinary one. However, silver loses its luster quickly if it is not cleaned regularly. Explore homemade silver cleaners to bring your silver back using soda, vinegar, baking soda, and toothpaste.

Easy Homemade Silver Cleaner Supplies

It's more than disappointing to pull out your Sunday silver only to see it brown and dull. This is not the silverware you want your family to eat off. Therefore, you'll want to get your silver cleaned. Rather than running to the store, run to your pantry and grab:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon/lime soda
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Lemon juice
  • Plain white toothpaste
  • Salt
  • Cloth
  • Container for soaking

Homemade Silver Cleaner for Tarnished Silver

When it comes to tarnished silver, everyone knows the aluminum foil and baking soda trick. This is by far one of the best ways to get rid of tarnish on silver. If you don't have those on hand, try using a bit of lemon soda water and Dawn.

  1. Pour 1 to 2 cups of lemon/lime soda into a container.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of Dawn.
  3. Mix the two together.
  4. Add your silverware or jewelry
  5. Allow it to soak for an hour or two.
  6. Pull it out and rinse.

Homemade Silver Cleaner With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Another great trick for getting rid of tarnish on your jewelry is using vinegar as a homemade silver cleaner. Vinegar can be used alone or use it with baking soda for an extra kick.

  1. Fill a container with 1 cup of vinegar.
  2. Add ¼ cup of baking soda.
  3. Submerge your silver necklaces and rings.
  4. Let it sit for 2-3 hours.
  5. Rinse and dry.

How to Polish Silver With Toothpaste

Need an instant polish for your large silver bowls or decorations? Then grab the salt, lemon juice, and toothpaste. With your materials at the ready, just follow these steps.

  1. In a container, mix:
    • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons of toothpaste
    • ¼ cup of salt
  2. Dip a cloth in the mixture.
  3. Use the cloth to polish the silver.
  4. Using a circular motion can help to cover large areas easily.
  5. Rinse and allow to air dry.

Tips for Taking Care of Silver

In addition to homemade cleaners, there are other materials around your house to clean your silver in a pinch. Sometimes, you don't even need a cleaner at all. Follow these tips to keep your silver sparkling.

  • For lightly tarnished silver, try rubbing it with a dry towel. This typically just enough to remove tarnish.
  • Plain white toothpaste is a quick fix when it comes to polishing silver. You can add a bit to a cloth and shine up your fork or your knife.
  • For small rings, squirt a little bit of hand sanitizer on to a cotton ball and rub in circular motions to remove grime and tarnish.
  • To avoid tarnishing, never let silver come into contact with rubber placemats, dish mats, or other rubberized materials. Rubber contains sulfur, which leads to corrosion.
  • Wash and store fine silver in a separate area away from stainless steel utensils.

Use Your Silver

The more you use your silver dishes and flatware the less likely you will have to clean away tarnish build-up. Which means instead of hiding your silver, and only using it on special occasions, use it frequently. However, don't forget to wash silver thoroughly after each use. The safest way to clean silver is to hand wash it. Silver gets its shine from the friction used in the washing process, so rubbing silver while you wash will help enhance its brightness.

Keeping Your Silver Gleaming

Silver is a sight to behold. However, it does take a bit of maintenance. So don't despair if it starts to tarnish, just grab the vinegar!

Easy Homemade Silver Cleaner Recipes & Tips