How to Clean Tarnished Silver Plate

Updated February 21, 2017

Tarnished silver results from a reaction between silver and sulphur. Black silver sulphide coats the silver, dulling and darkening the surface. Restore a tarnished silver plate without polish. Baking soda or washing soda and aluminium foil transfer the tarnish from the silver to aluminium without any abrasive action. This method uses an electrochemical reaction to restore tarnished silver to a bright, shiny finish.

Fill a pot with 1 gallon of water. Place the pot on the stove and turn it on high heat. Bring the water to a boil.

Remove a sheet of aluminium foil the same size as the plastic dish or basin. Place it shiny side up on the bottom of the dish or basin.

Set the tarnished silver plate onto the aluminium foil.

Remove the pot of boiling water from the heat. Stir in 1 cup baking soda or 1/4 cup washing soda with a wooden spoon.

Pour the boiling water over the tarnished plate. Allow it to sit for up to 15 minutes.

Put on rubber gloves and remove the plate from the solution. Rinse it with clean water and buff it with a soft cloth.


This process may need to be done a few times to clean extremely tarnished items.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot
  • Large plastic dish or basin
  • Aluminium foil
  • 1 cup baking soda or 1/4 cup washing soda
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rubber gloves
  • Soft cloth
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Shelley Marie has been writing professionally since 2008 for online marketing and informational websites. Her areas of expertise include home, garden and health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and an associate degree in medical billing and insurance coding, both from Herzing University.