Thursday, October 9, 2014

How to Polish Your Silver Without the Polish

     I have read a lot of internet claims that you can polish silver by just using water with some aluminum foil, salt, and baking soda in it.  I never really believed it. 
 

 
     But then I had this silver pitcher to clean up, and I didn't want to drag out the polish (again) and spend all that time doing all that work, plus silver polish is expensive. So with that incentive I figured what could I lose by trying?
 
 

      So I filled a dishpan with very hot tap water and crinkled up a big piece of aluminum foil on the bottom.   
      I put in a couple of teaspoons of table salt and just sprinkled some baking soda, about the same amount in there, too.
 
    Then I added the pitcher and threw in some antique flatware that could also use a polish. I waited longer than the few minutes it said it should take, maybe 15 minutes, then removed it all.

 
       It definitely looked a lot better, but I still didn't think it was nearly as nice as when you do the elbow work with the silver polish.

 
But then I wondered about whether I had the water hot enough. I wasn't really sure.  So I re-tested it, this time just putting the flatware back in, as it was the least shiny.  This time I added boiling water right out of the kettle instead of the hottest tap water.  I put everything back in and the results were much faster--and better!
 
 
     Now I am totally convinced that this is the way to do it!  I will never again spend the money on buying silver polish again. It takes longer. It leaves a residue that stays in the cracks and folds. And it costs a lot more than an old piece of foil and a little salt and baking soda.
 
 
         How about you; have you ever tried this technique? Which method do you prefer?
 


15 comments:

  1. I have tried this technique after buying silverplate flatware pieces to resell. It works really well but it smells pretty bad. I usually touch up the pieces with some silver polish just to get that extra brightness. You saved yourself a lot of time and elbow grease as well as your pretty French manicure. :-)

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    1. Ha! I forgot about the Save Your Manicure motivator--so true!

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  2. I'm bookmarking this post. Thanks for the tip! :)

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    1. And it's exciting to watch the bubbly chemical reaction when you add the hot water. :-)

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  3. How amazing is this!! Great job Linda!! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tip. I haven't been on here for a while. Always such a joy to start my day looking at this Blog. Love you !!! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us. tina b.

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  4. WOW!!!!! isn't chemistry amazing! Never tried this, but will for sure next time I drag out my silver...I don't have any manicure (French or otherwise) to worry about. Now, if you could figure out how to keep dust from reappearing EVERY day!!!!!

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    1. You could possibly try putting that solution everywhere that dust appears? But I cannot guarantee your satisfaction. :-)

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  5. My favorite way to handle silver! You risk losing patina on old pieces, but on the upside, this method doesn't peel off silver like the commercial polishes do. I've used this for years -- and blogged about it, too. A hint -- I use a big disposable aluminum pan to do it in. Dollar store. No need for foil then, or dirtying a pan. I've used the same old foil pan for years. And yes, kettle water is best! As for dust -- I think of that as a protective covering on fine antiques. ;-)

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  6. Oh, that's priceless! Love the idea about the foil pan. I will have to go to the dollar store. Can you reuse them, or do you have to use a new one each time?

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  7. Thank you for sharing. I have a few serving pieces that are long over due. I gave up silver polish and use toothpaste - which works wonders, less elbow grease and nothing toxic. This method seems like it will be a lot faster and allow a little multi tasking - like dusting (keeping the theme).

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    1. I never heard of using toothpaste--good idea! So glad you kept the dusting theme going. So funny!

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  8. I've used this method in the past. It works and it's easy!

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    1. I'm glad I finally figured that out. :-)

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  9. This is so interesting! I had no idea that I can clean silver in this easy and natural way! I will definitely try this way! Thanks a lot for sharing!Clerkenwell Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

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