How to clean silver plate flatware using baking soda

Updated February 21, 2017

Silver plate flatware is coated in a thin layer of silver to provide a shiny, gleaming finish. Over time, the silver reacts with humidity and trace elements in the air, leaving a layer of dark, dull tarnish behind. Many silver cleaners contain harsh chemicals and abrasives that remove a layer of tarnish along with a small amount of silver. These types of cleaners are too harsh for silver plate flatware and can wear away the silver coating. Baking soda, water and aluminium foil reverse the chemical reaction that creates tarnish without damaging the shiny finish.

Line a large pan or dish with enough aluminium foil to cover the bottom. Place the silver plate flatware in the pan, ensuring each piece of flatware is touching a part of the foil.

Boil 1/2 gallon of water in a pot and stir in 1/2 cup of baking soda.

Place the foil-lined pan into a sink, and carefully pour the hot water/baking soda solution into the pan to cover the flatware.

Remove the silver plate flatware from the pan when the water is cool enough to touch. If the flatware is still tarnished, reheat the water and repeat the process.

Rinse the silver plate flatware thoroughly with water and buff it dry with a soft cloth.


Wear oven gloves when pouring the boiling water to protect your skin from hot steam.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pan or dish
  • Aluminium foil
  • Pot
  • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth
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About the Author

Melissa Rae has been a writer since 2008, specializing in home-and-garden, business, technology and education topics. Rae holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Herzing University.