How to clean silver with lemon juice

Written by gregory m. dew
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How to clean silver with lemon juice
Silver coins can be cleaned by soaking them in lemon juice. (Ancient silver coin rouble made of pure silver image by Olga Sapegina from

Lemon juice is an effective, inexpensive way to clean silver. The acidity of the lemon eats through the tarnish on the silver and removes the chemical build-up. Silver coins should be soaked in a bath of the juice, then patted dry. Silver jewellery can be wiped clean with a cloth soaked in the juice. Larger silver objects with a great deal of tarnish can be scrubbed with a paste made of lemon juice and baking soda.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Lemons
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Juicer
  • Bowl
  • Non-abrasive cloth
  • Baking soda

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  1. 1

    Lay a lemon on a cutting board. Position it so the pointed ends are facing away from the body. Cut in half, down the middle.

  2. 2

    Pick up one half of the lemon. Place pulp-side down on the tip of the juicer. Grip the lemon, push down while twisting to release the lemon juice. Pour the juice into a bowl. Cut and juice lemons until you have enough juice to cover all items being soaked.

  3. 3

    Lay silver coins and jewellery at the bottom of the bowl of juice. Do not allow any pieces of silver to touch each other. Let stand for up to 20 hours until all tarnish is gone. Rinse and pat dry the coins.

  4. 4

    Polish the jewellery with the non-abrasive cloth. Dry completely.

  5. 5

    Juice fresh lemons, then add one part baking soda to four parts lemon juice and stir to make a solution. Dip the cloth in the solution and rub it over silver objects too large to soak.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not rub silver coins--just pat them dry. Rubbing them may decrease their value in the eyes of a collector.

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