Cleaning silver

5 Best Ways To Clean Silver

If you’re noticing discolouration or a loss of shine on your silver possessions, there are ways to restore quality to those pieces. Although the natural processes of wear and tear cannot be avoided completely, there are ways to slow them down and give your beloved silver belongings a revamp and refreshed shine. 

The great news is that cleaning silver is not a job that needs to be done by a professional, nor is it something that requires special cleaning products. The SweepSouth team has put together a list of uncomplicated ways to clean silver at home using common household products. Gather your cleaning supplies and read on to learn about the 5 best ways to clean silver and bring back the shine you bought it for.

Why Does Silver Need To Be Cleaned? 

Understanding why precious items need to be cleaned will always help with the motivation to get it done. With exposure to light, air, and other chemicals over time, silver loses its shiny appearance and becomes tarnished. Why does this happen? The chemical reaction between silver and sulphur in the air causes this deterioration. Besides sulphur, products such as perfumes, cosmetics, oils, and creams can also cause the loss of colour and shine. Now that a foundation of understanding has been laid, let’s take a look at the 5 best ways to clean silver.

How To Clean Silver With Cornflour And Water

This method works especially well for restoring shine. Follow these 4 simple steps to bring the glint back to your favourite silver piece:

  1. Prepare a thick paste using cornflour and water.
  2. Spread the paste onto your silver item, ensuring you cover all areas that need it most.
  3. Once the paste has dried completely, use a towel to rub it off and give it a polish in the process.
  4. Repeat the above steps if you feel there is still more shine to be attained.

How To Clean Silver With Aluminium Foil And Baking Soda

The combination of baking soda and aluminium foil makes for one of the best methods of silver cleaning. Use these 4 easy steps to clean silver with these items:

  1. Use aluminium foil to cover the bottom of a large baking pan, leaving the shiny side facing up. 
  2. Fill the pan with boiling water and add half a tablespoon of baking soda for every litre of water used.
  3. Place the silver in for 15 seconds.
  4. Take the silver out and leave it to dry on a paper towel. 

Pro Tips: 

  • Use a ceramic or glass baking pan instead of a metal one.
  • Never use this method for jewellery with encrusted gemstones.

How To Clean Silver With Aluminium Foil And Laundry Detergent

Here we have another powerful method of silver cleaning involving aluminium foil, this time paired with laundry detergent. Follow these 5 steps to clean your silver with these two tools:

  1. Use aluminium foil to cover the bottom of a large bowl, leaving the shiny side facing up.  
  2. Fill the bowl with hot water and a tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent. 
  3. Stir the mixture well before placing your silver items inside.
  4. Allow them to soak for a minute before removing.
  5. Rinse your silver items with warm water and lay them on a paper towel to dry.

How To Clean Silver With Baking Soda And Water

Here we have another method involving baking soda, this time mixing it with water to make a cleaning paste. Use these 5 steps to get your silver shining again:

  1. Create a thick paste from baking soda and warm water.
  2. Spread the paste onto your silver, making sure you cover the tarnished spots.
  3. Let the silver sit with the paste for 3 minutes 
  4. Once the time has passed, polish the silver by rubbing it gently with a soft cloth. Use a soft toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas. 
  5. Rinse the paste off with cold water and dry the silver with a soft cloth.

How To Clean Silver With Window Cleaning Products

That’s right, window cleaning detergents are not only great for glass but also to bring back the glint to your silver pieces. Use these 3 easy steps to clean silver with a window cleaner:

  1. Spray a small amount of window cleaner on a soft cloth and use it to polish your silver.
  2. Use a soft toothbrush to scrub any areas that are difficult to reach. 
  3. Repeat if necessary until you achieve the shine you’re looking for.

With these 5 silver-cleaning methods in your arsenal, bringing that shine back to your ornaments should be a breeze. Give them a try and enjoy the look of your newly restored prized possessions.