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How to fix scratches in silver plating

Silver is a relatively soft metal that can be damaged easily if mishandled. It's important to take great care of solid silver and silver-plated objects to ensure that they're not exposed to knocks or placed in a spot where they're likely to get scratched. If you have a silver-plated item that has become scratched, you can take steps to reduce the damage that's been done.

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  1. Wash your silver-plated item thoroughly in plenty of warm water and detergent. Use a soft cloth to remove any dirt or debris, then towel dry.

  2. Line the inside of a pan large enough to comfortably accommodate your silver-plated item with aluminium foil and fill it with water. The water will need to be high enough to completely cover your item.

  3. Add baking soda to the water. Add about a quarter of a cup of baking soda per quart of water. Place on a stove to heat.

  4. Take the pan off the stove once the water has started to boil and place your silver-plated item in the water.

  5. Leave to stand for half an hour and then remove your item from the solution. You should be able to notice that the scratches have diminished. Repeat the process for very badly scratched items.

  6. Dry the item thoroughly and apply a small amount of silver polish to a clean soft cloth. Polish your item in a circular motion. If you don't have any silver polish, use a cream-based kitchen cleaner. The polishing motion will reduce the scratch marks further.

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Things You'll Need

  • Detergent
  • Soft cloth
  • Towel
  • Aluminium foil
  • Baking soda
  • Stove
  • Tongs
  • Silver polish

About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.

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