Frugal Homemade Silver Polish

Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda Silver PolishI inherited some very old real silverware which has been bundled up and stored away for many many years.

When I finally decided to bring them out and use them, I knew I needed a safe (and frugal!) method to polish the pieces and remove the tarnish.

This is the very best method I’ve found. It’s safe for the silver because it uses a chemical reaction to actually turn the silver sulfide (the black stuff you see) back into silver, rather than stripping a layer of silver away with an abrasive polish.

Give this a try, but be sure to do it in a well ventilated area as it can get smelly when the science happens!

You need:

  • baking pan
  • aluminum foil
  • boiling water
  • baking soda

The amounts will vary depending on how big a baking pan you have and how big or how many pieces you are doing at once. I used a 9×13 baking pan, about 2 quarts of water, and 1/4 cup of baking soda.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, and lay silver on top, making sure each piece is on the foil, not overlapping or piled up.
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Set the pot of hot water in the sink and add baking soda (It will foam up so be careful.)
Pour the water into the baking pan over the silver. (You’ll quickly see the tarnish start to turn silver again. Remember, it gets smelly, so hold your breath if you’re going to watch work.)


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Kat Dennis - December 8, 2011

Thank you for this…I knew there was a simple way to do it but wasn’t sure how much of anything to use. Have a Merry Christmas if I don’t talk to you before then.

tealady3 - December 8, 2011

Just in time,I too have silver that takes some time to clean .I am going to try this today.

Thank-you for all your wonderful ideas.

Patti Winker - December 8, 2011

I’m so glad I found the right way to do this and could share it with all of you!

I tried baking soda, tap water, and aluminum foil before and it didn’t work. The trick is to BOIL the water! Who knew??

I still have a few pieces to do but have to run out and get some more baking soda. Isn’t it great that I’ll be able to get all my silver cleaned for about a dollar? 😀

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