East Texas Kitchen Care: The magical silver-cleaning hack
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – Some of you, like me, may have seen this tip for cleaning sterling silver or silverplate mentioned in other places, but have never tried it. I decided to give it a shot here on the Kitchen Care segment so we’d know once and for all how well … or not… it works, and if it’s as easy as it’s claimed to be.
For the project today, I just used some of my silverplate pieces I picked up at Canton First Monday at various vendors out in the fields, simply because I love a bargain and I love serving holiday dinners with these beautiful old spoons. I figured if this tip did damage or didn’t work, I’m only out a few dollars.
It’s pretty much like doing a science experiment. You combine a few ingredients to get a chemical reaction going, and that reaction “eats” the tarnish off the surface of the silverware or whatever piece you place in the mixture. Let’s dive in.
What you’ll need:
- A wide, flat dish. I used a 9×13 glass baking dish.
- Aluminum foil to line the bottom of the dish, shiny side up. (Note: If you prefer, you can use a disposable aluminum baking pan instead of a foil-lined glass dish)
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon salt, mixed together
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup boiling water
Sprinkle the baking soda/salt mixture over the aluminum foil in the dish
Pour the vinegar over the mixture. It will start bubbling now.
Pour the boiling water into the dish, and stir in.
Now, lay the tarnished silver pieces in a single layer across the bottom of the dish. If they’re not covered well, add a bit more boiling water, and stir it around.
Let it soak for just a minute or so; you’ll see the tarnish disappear before your eyes! Some pieces will clean up immediately, and some may need another 30 seconds longer, depending upon how dark the tarnish is. Don’t walk away from this! I don’t know how long you could leave it before it’d start to cause damage to the finish, so stay with it and just let it soak for a couple of minutes.
Next, use a pair of tongs to carefully lift out the pieces, and polish with a fluffy, clean cloth. They should shine up nicely! Mine sure did. This project definitely works. I wouldn’t do it more than once a year, so it doesn’t remove much of the silver, but when I’ve got a lot to polish and it’s quite tarnished, this is the way I’m going in the future, for sure.
This is a hack that I give two thumbs up.
Disclaimer, for legal reasons: If you choose to use this hack on your sterling silver or silverplate pieces, you do so at your own risk. Neither I nor my employer can be held responsible for any damage you may cause to your pieces.
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