How to Get Rid of Tarnish

Over time, metal -- such as silver, brass or chrome -- will lose its lustre and develop an unsightly discolouration on the surface. Most metals are susceptible to this type of corrosion, which occurs when air and moisture come in contact with the metal. Fortunately, tarnish does not damage the structure of the metal and only affects the surface. Several common household items will help remove the tarnish and restore the look of the metal.

Fill a small bowl with ketchup.

Dip the corner of a cloth in the ketchup and rub it on the tarnish for several seconds.

Wipe the item clean with a damp cloth. Repeat the process until you have removed all traces of the tarnish.

Place a sheet of aluminium foil along the bottom of a glass pan. Add enough water to cover the bottom 3 inches of the pan.

Pour 1 teaspoon of table salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in the glass pan. Stir the contents together with a spoon. Place the glass pan on the stove and let the mixture boil.

Submerge the tarnished items carefully in the boiling mixture and let boil for three minutes before turning the stove off and letting the water cool.

Remove the items from the water and rinse clean. Buff with a lint-free cloth.

Pour 1 quart of water in a tarnished pot. Add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar and mix with a spoon.

Place the pot on the stove and boil for 10 minutes. Dump the contents down the drain.

Wash the pot as you normally would. Rinse with cool water and wipe dry with a towel.

Ball up a piece of aluminium foil, keeping the shiny side facing out.

Rub the tarnish with the crumbled piece of foil. Begin at the top of the tarnish and work your way down.

Wipe the item clean with a cloth and polish the metal as you normally would.

Things You'll Need

  • Small bowl
  • Ketchup
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Aluminium foil
  • Glass pan
  • Table salt
  • Baking soda
  • Spoon
  • Cream of tartar
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About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.