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How to Remove Stains From Cutlery

Updated February 21, 2017

Stainless steel silverware or cutlery often looks dirty or spotty, even after a thorough cycle in the dishwasher, and serving up a delicious meal with grubby knives and forks will certainly spoil the effect. But bringing the sparkle back to your silverware or cutlery is easy to do with a few simple, household ingredients.

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  1. Line a shallow tray with aluminium foil.

  2. Fill the tray with hot water.

  3. Add 1 tsp of baking soda to the water.

  4. Add cutlery and allow it to soak for about 30 minutes.

  5. Rinse in cold water.

  6. Leave to dry naturally.

  7. Buff the cutlery once it's dry with a soft, clean cloth to remove water spots.

  8. Dampen the silverware.

  9. Apply non-gel toothpaste to a soft toothbrush.

  10. Gently scrub the silverware with the toothbrush.

  11. Rinse thoroughly in cold water.

  12. Leave to dry naturally.

  13. Buff the cutlery once it's dry with a soft, clean cloth to remove water spots.

  14. Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands.

  15. Pour hot water into a large glass or plastic container.

  16. Mix household bleach and water softening powder with water. Stir well.

  17. Add cutlery and allow it to soak for 30 to 45 minutes.

  18. Remove cutlery and place it in a clean container.

  19. Rinse the cutlery thoroughly to remove bleach residue.

  20. Combine toothpaste and ammonia in a glass or plastic container.

  21. Dab a clean, soft cloth into the toothpaste and ammonia mix.

  22. Wipe the silver with the cloth to remove any remaining stains.

  23. Rinse thoroughly in cold water.

  24. Leave to dry naturally.

  25. Buff the cutlery once it's dry with a soft, clean cloth to remove water spots.

  26. Tip

    Use ammonia and bleach only if your silverware or cutlery has particularly stubborn stains that won't come off with baking soda or toothpaste alone.


    Protect yourself with rubber gloves and a respiratory mask if necessary when you work with chemicals. Keep the room well ventilated, too.

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Things You'll Need

  • Method 1:
  • Baking soda
  • Aluminium foil
  • Shallow tray or bowl
  • Hot water
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Method 2:
  • Non-gel toothpaste
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Cold water
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Method 3:
  • 1/4 cup household bleach
  • 1/4 cup powdered water softener
  • 1 tbsp non-gel toothpaste
  • 1/4 tsp household ammonia
  • 1 gallon steaming hot water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean, soft cloth

About the Author

Robyn Murray

Robyn Murray is a journalist based in Omaha, Neb. She has reported for national and international media including National Public Radio, Public Radio International and Business Day in Johannesburg. Murray holds a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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