How to Make Sterling Silver Shiny Again

Solid silver (including sterling) may become blackened over time, but with proper care and cleaning it can regain its shine. One method involves mixing baking soda, salt, aluminum foil and boiling water solution together in order to trigger a chemical reaction which strips away tarnish without scratching.

Other methods may include soaking the jewelry in white vinegar and baking soda, using window cleaner or submerging it in lemon juice and olive oil for up to 24 hours.

1. Clean with warm water and mild dishwashing soap

Clean your silver jewelry or your grandmother’s fancy cutlery before hosting a dinner party with warm water and mild dishwashing soap for maximum luster! Use a soft cloth to avoid scratching precious metals while scrubbing around features and decorations as needed for maximum effectiveness.

As an organic alternative to traditional silver cleaners, toothpaste can also provide an organic solution. Simply apply a pea-sized amount to a soft cloth and rub all over your silver for several minutes until rinsed off in warm water and dried off using another clean cloth.

Vinegar is an effective natural solution to cleaning sterling silver. Mix half a cup of vinegar with two tablespoons of baking soda to form a paste which you can rub onto the silver surface and allow to sit before wiping away for a brighter, more polished look.

Lemon juice and olive oil can make an effective pair for cleaning sterling silver jewelry. To start, mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with one cup of olive oil before stirring, dipping a soft cloth into the solution, wringing out excess, then gently polish your silver before rinsing with running water and drying with another clean cloth – using these simple cleaning techniques will ensure long-term tarnish-free beauty of your precious pieces!

2. Try baking soda

Silver’s beauty can quickly fade over time when exposed to air. One way of cleaning sterling silver jewelry, flatware or other pieces is using baking soda with water and aluminum foil as an effective cleaning agent – this works especially well for smaller items like flatware or napkin rings; but larger jewelry pieces also benefit. A chemical reaction between vinegar, baking soda and aluminum foil quickly lifts tarnish off its surface of silver; you may be familiar with this technique from commercial cleaners such as Vanish, or it can easily be performed at home with items found around the house!

Baking soda is an inexpensive chemical solution designed to gently dissolve grime, rust and other metal deposits from surfaces like silver. When mixed with water, baking soda forms a paste which can be applied using cloth or soft-bristled toothbrush. A pea-sized amount should be applied and gently rubbed onto your silver before being rinsed and dried using cloth or soft bristled toothbrush. For intricate areas on silver such as engraving or stamping you may thin down the paste further using more water so your toothbrush can get into crevices using toothbrush to reach deep into cracks and crevices of silver surfaces.

Once your silver is clean, it should remain that way. A few preventive steps you can take include placing it in a box lined with velvet or wrapping it with anti-tarnish strips; alternatively, jewelry or silver flatware may also benefit from being stored in zip-close plastic bags to reduce oxygen exposure.

3. Try vinegar and baking soda

Silver cleaners that rely on harsh chemicals often leave jewelry and flatware exposed to further oxidation, but you can create your own mild and green cleaning solution using pantry and household staples. When mixing baking soda with water to form a paste, use a soft cloth to gently rub this onto jewelry or flatware items – for heavy tarnish wait 30 seconds up to 10 minutes, before rinsing and drying thoroughly afterwards. Alternatively you could spray microfiber cloth or sponges with plant-based glass cleaner and then wipe tarnish away in an in a back and forth motion followed by thorough rinse and drying with soft cloth before finishing off by wiping dry with soft cloth afterwards!

If the tarnish has set in too deeply, try this technique recommended by Green Cleaning Coach and CTV’s The Marilyn Denis Show: Line a glass baking pan with aluminum foil shiny side up, arrange silverware in one layer in it, add three teaspoons each of baking soda and salt, pour boiling water onto them then let soak for approximately four minutes before rinsing well with warm water and drying with soft cotton cloths.

If you can’t get to polishing your sterling jewelry and flatware immediately, try keeping it tarnish-free by wrapping each piece individually in acid-free tissue paper or unbleached cotton muslin. This will protect each metal component and help avoid scratching when stacking together. Additionally, chalk can absorb moisture from the air, keeping your silverware safe from oxidization.

4. Try lemon juice and olive oil

Sterling silver is an exquisite metal, yet over time its beauty can begin to dull and become discolored. Luckily, it is relatively straightforward and cost-effective to restore its lustre using simple home remedies – many supplies you will likely already have in your pantry or kitchen are likely enough. Plus, these methods often cost far less and take much less effort than purchasing commercial polishes that may damage delicate jewelry pieces.

For silver jewelry cleaning, try placing it in a bowl filled with half a cup of lemon juice and one teaspoon of olive oil, soaking for five minutes then rinsing and drying completely afterwards. For larger pieces, a paste composed of baking soda and water may also be effective.

Be sure to use a high-quality, lint-free cloth when cleaning silver jewelry, to avoid scratching its surfaces. These cloths can often be found at department stores or jewelry shops.

Rubber gloves, cleaners, mayonnaise, eggs, mustard and latex can also contribute to tarnish build-up on silver jewelry; so it’s wise to remove it prior to performing these tasks.

How often you need to clean your silver depends on its frequency of wear and its exposure to air, according to Herman. In general, it should only need polishing a couple of times annually. Furthermore, Herman advises storing it in a box lined with chalk in order to protect its copper components against moisture and chemicals that might react with it over time.

5. Try lemon juice and salt

If your silver is becoming dull and lifeless, polishing it may help bring its sheen back. But for more serious tarnish issues, these household and pantry items could help restore it back to glory.

Salt can be an effective solution for heavy tarnish removal on jewelry pieces such as rings, bracelets and necklaces. Simply sprinkle some on them and rub in as directed before rinsing off, drying and polishing to complete. Its effectiveness may especially prove effective on rings, bracelets and necklaces.

White vinegar and baking soda can also help remove heavy tarnish from silver jewelry, so soak your silver in a solution containing 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons baking soda for two or three hours, before rinsing off and drying afterwards.

Toothpaste can also make an excellent homemade cleaner; just be sure not to use one with a whitening formula and avoid applying it directly on silver-plated pieces. Simply rub and rinse thoroughly afterwards!

If you prefer nonchemical methods of polishing sterling silver jewelry, try rolling it in acid-free tissue paper or cotton muslin fabric instead of chemical solutions. Also store jewelry in plastic bags to limit air exposure and avoid further tarnishing during storage.

Just keep in mind that it’s normal for sterling silver to tarnish, particularly after coming in contact with oils from your hands and skincare products you may be using. Some pieces are deliberately oxidized by silversmiths in order to give more depth and detail; to determine if your silver is real or just silver-plated you can put it on an ice cube and observe if the ice melts faster on it than on anything else.

6. Try lemon juice and aluminum foil

Silver can tarnish when exposed to oxygen and sulfur, so certain household cleaners, rubber gloves, and foods may leave sterling silver looking dull. Luckily, there are various DIY solutions to clean silver like using baking soda, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, toothpaste or similar items from your pantry and home as cleaners.

Renew the shine of your silver jewelry or teaware by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water in a bowl, applying this paste onto a cloth, and rubbing until your jewelry or silverware has returned to being shiny again. Rinse and dry with another lint-free cloth afterward if possible; an alternative would be cream of tartar. Tip: If cream of tartar is all that’s available to you instead, simply substitute for baking soda!

White vinegar is another household item you can use to polish silver. Mix one part vinegar with two parts baking soda and spread this solution over your silverware or jewelry for about 10 minutes, before rinsing under cool water and drying with a lint-free cloth. Or you could try spraying some hand sanitizer onto a cloth and rubbing away tarnish; discover more unexpected uses of hand sanitizer here!