Reaching for a silver cleaner is the most natural thing that people do to get rid of the tarnish on their silver utensils and housewares. Unfortunately, this method is far from being the best since synthetic cleaners are abrasive, and will strip off not only the tarnish but a thin layer of silver in the process.
Toxic ingredients are another reason to avoid using store-bought cleaners. Most cleaning products on the market contain additives that are dangerous to your health when exposed to them. These commercial cleaners are also harmful to the environment, and therefore, EPA has proclaimed them as household hazardous waste, which must not be poured down the drain or tossed in the trash.
Fortunately, there is a simple, natural way to clean silver and remove tarnish. involving only environmental friendly products such as table salt, baking soda and aluminium foil. Simply, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Take a pan or basin large enough to hold your silverware and place aluminium foil on the bottom. Arrange the silver items over the foil, so they are all in touch with it, then pour in
enough water to cover them.
Step 2: Mix 1 tbsp. of salt and 1 tbsp. of baking soda in a bowl and add the mixture to the water. Make sure to sprinkle it evenly over the water. Once done, cover the pan or the basin with a lid or a towel and allow it to sit for four to five hours or overnight. Alternatively, if using a pan, place it on the stove and boil for two to three minutes.
Step 3: Pour the water out of the pan or basin and remove the silver items from it. Use hot water to rinse each item thoroughly.
Step 4: Polish the silver with a soft, natural fibre cloth moistened with two to three drops of olive oil.
If the silver still doesn’t look as shiny as you want, simply repeat the cleaning process.
Store your silver with a piece of plain chalk in order to keep moisture away from it.
Do not use this method to clean antique silver candlesticks or knives, as it will break down the glue bonds holding the pieces together.