Although there are recommended go-to cleaning products that make for a more effective clean, we've also included a few homemade cleaning remedies with basic pantry finds, including dish soap and baking soda, for less expensive cleaning options or to use in a pinch when you find you're out of regular polish.
What you'll need to clean silver:
- Silver Cleaner and Polish
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- Anti-Tarnish Storage Bag
- Dish Soap or Baking Soda
How to clean tarnished silverware with polish:
- Put a small amount of silver polish on a clean cloth, dampened if necessary.
- Rub the polish on your item in an up-and-down motion, not circular to avoid highlighting fine scratches.
- Turn the cloth frequently as you work, so tarnish isn't deposited back on your item.
- Wash and rinse in warm water and buff with a clean, dry cloth to shine.
- Silver wipes and cloths are a less messy and more convenient option to liquid polish.
How to clean silver naturally with soap or baking soda:
Without a doubt, targeted polish (mentioned above) is the most effective way to clean silver. But if you're in a pinch, you can turn to your pantry for homemade remedies.
For silver that is dull, filmy, or not yet discolored, mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water and dip in a soft cloth. Rub the item, then rinse in cool water and buff with a cloth until dry.
For silver that is heavily tarnished, mix a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Wet the silver and apply the cleaner with a soft, lint-free cloth (not paper towels). Work the paste into the crevices, turning the cloth as it gets gray. Rinse and buff dry.
How to store silver and prevent tarnish:
Natural discoloration is unavoidable, but there are some ways to make sure that your flatware, jewelry, and trays don't lose their luster as quickly. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to prevent tarnish:
- Store each piece of silver jewelry in its own anti-tarnish bag in a cool, dry spot.
- Tuck a piece of chalk in an anti-tarnish bag to help absorb moisture from the air.
- Put jewelry on after spraying perfume to prevent your fragrance from landing on the silver.
- Don't be afraid to wear your silver: Friction slows down tarnishing, which means the more you wear it, the more it'll shine.