How to Make Homemade Silver Polish

Tarnish on silver arises when sulfides in the air and foods react with the silver molecules in kitchenware and jewelry. Tarnished silverware and sterling silver jewelry can be easily cleaned and restored with commercial polishes. But you can save money by using one of these simple recipes for homemade silver polish. These home remedies will gently remove black tarnish stains from your silver utensils and sterling silver jewelry, and they also work well on pieces with silver plating.

Method 1: Place a piece of aluminum foil at the bottom of a sauce pan and add 1 quart water, 1 tbsp baking soda, and 1 tbsp salt. Bring the liquid to a boil on the stove top, and dip the pieces of tarnished silver into the pot. This liquid silver polish works for large quantities of silverware. Be careful when polishing antique silver pieces that have a patina, as this recipe is quite strong and can remove patina.

Method 2: To make a buttermilk silver polish, combine 1 cup whole milk with 2 tsp cream of tartar, or instead of tartar powder, use lemon juice or vinegar. Place a few items of sterling silver jewelry in the mixture, and let them soak overnight. The next day, rinse the silver pieces in water and use a cloth to gently wipe away the silver tarnish. This is gentle enough for items with delicate silver plating.

Method 3: Going back to the baking soda and salt method, a cheap silver polish can be found right in your bathroom cabinet: toothpaste. If you have white toothpaste, rub it on the tarnished silver and let it dry. Then, rinse with warm water and wipe clean. The sodium bicarbonate and salt found in toothpaste will gently polish sterling silver rings, coins, charms, and small pieces of silverware.

Method 4: To make a soap based silver polish, use sudsy warm water mixed with ammonia. In a quart of warm water, use ivory or castille soap to make the water soapy. Then add 1 tbsp ammonia. Dip the pieces of tarnished silver in the soap and ammonia solution and use your fingers or a cloth to rub the silver and wipe away the tarnish. You can make this silver polish more concentrated if necessary.

© Had2Know 2010