Silver jewellery, flatware, serving sets and any other silver items must be cleaned and polished regularly to remove stains and tarnish. Commercial products are available to clean and polish silver. Save yourself some money and a trip to the store by making homemade silver polish and cleaner.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 small saucepans
- 1 cup soap flakes
- 1 tbsp household ammonia
- 1 cup whiting powder
- 2-pint glass jar or container with a lid
- Soft sponge
- Clean cloths
- Aluminium foil
- Glass or plastic dish
- Medium saucepan
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tsp cream of tartar
Fill a small saucepan with 473ml.of water. Bring the water to a boil on the stove.
Combine 1 cup soap flakes, 1 tbsp household ammonia and 1 cup of whiting into a separate small saucepan while you are waiting for the water to boil. Do not put the saucepan on the stove to heat.
Pour the boiling water into the saucepan with the soap, ammonia and whiting. Stir the mixture with a spoon until all of the soap flakes and whiting powder has dissolved.
Allow the mixture to cool for a few hours. Transfer it to a 2 pint glass container or jar with a lid. You will not use all of the mixture at once so be sure to label the jar so that you know what it is for future use.
Use the mixture with a soft sponge to polish your silver pieces. Rinse the silver with warm water after polishing it and buff dry with a clean cloth.
Lay aluminium foil down into a glass or plastic dish. You may need to adjust the size and type of dish you use according to the size of the pieces of silver you are polishing. A 9 inch by 13 inch dish works well for silverware and jewellery. Avoid using a metal dish.
Lay the silver on top of the aluminium foil. The reaction between the aluminium foil and the tarnish will transfer the tarnish from the silver to the foil.
Fill a medium saucepan with 1 quart warm water. Bring the water to a boil on the stove.
Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking soda to the boiling water. Stir with a spoon to dissolve the ingredients.
Pour the boiling water directly onto the silver. Use caution when pouring the boiling water so that it does not splash onto your skin.
Allow the silver to soak in the solution for 30 minutes. Rinse the silver with plain water. Buff the silver dry with a soft cloth.
Fill a glass or plastic dish with 1 cup whole milk. Add 3 tsp cream of tartar to the milk. Double or triple the recipe if the silver pieces you are cleaning and polishing are larger than just jewellery or silverware.
Stir the milk and cream of tartar with a spoon.
Place the silver into the dish. Allow it to sit in the milk mixture overnight.
Rinse the silver the next day under cold water. Buff the silver dry with a soft cloth.
Tips and warnings
- Whiting powder is a chalklike powder that is used to remove oil and polish glass. It can also be used on silver. Buy whiting powder at most home improvement centres.
- Rub non-gel toothpaste onto your silver for a quick way to polish.
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