You have invited your friends for dinner. You want to make this occasion special. You decide to serve food on your antique silver dinner set. A great idea indeed! You rush towards your silverware drawer and take out some utensils. What are these dark spots on them? Well, they are the results of silver tarnish over time. You get depressed and wonder what should you do now, to save your precious collection of silverware.
Fortunately, there are numerous methods of cleaning silverware that, when done regularly can keep your treasury safe, secured and shine like new always. Some of the easy-to-follow efficacious methods are described as under. Select one according to your comfort and availability of resources, and take care of your silverware.
Method 1: Aluminum Foil + Baking Soda + Common Salt
● Take a shallow pan; cover the inside with an aluminum foil; fill the pan with warm water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and a pinch of common salt to the water. Mix the solution well, and put the silverware into it. The silverware should be completely covered with the solution. Allow it to stay there for about 15 minutes.
● Take a toothbrush, and rub on the stained and tarnished areas of the silverware. The spots will go away by rubbing. When all the spots have been removed, wash the silverware with plenty of warm water, and allow it to air dry. You may rub the dried silverware with a clean cotton cloth to remove water spots. The silverware is expected to shine like new now.
Method 2: Toothpaste
● Take the tarnished silverware and coat its entire surface with toothpaste. Leave it for a minute; sprinkle a few drops of water, and rub the surface gently with a soft-bristled brush. Work more on the region containing spots and stains.
● When you are done, wash the silverware under running water. Keep rubbing to remove toothpaste completely from its surface. Or else, squeeze a small amount of toothpaste on a rag and polish your silver. Then rinse-and see how it shines!
Method 3: Vinegar
● There are certain easily available materials that make a great home remedy for cleaning silverware. One such ingredient is vinegar. Take a bowl which is large enough to contain the silverware that you intend to clean; fill it with vinegar; put the silverware in the vinegar. Make sure that the silverware is completely dipped in vinegar, and leave it undisturbed for a day.
● Take the silverware out and rub it gently with a soft-bristled brush. Wash it with lots of warm water till the greasiness due to vinegar goes away. Allow the silverware to air dry. Rub it with a clean piece of cloth to remove any water spots, if present. Your silverware will look clean and polished. This particular method is time-consuming, yet is preferred over others as it involves comparatively very little labor.
Method 4: Wood Ash
● Use wood ash for cleaning silverware naturally. Take a small amount of wood ash. Usually, the quantity is determined in accordance with the size of your silverware. Mix the wood ash with a little amount of plain water to make a smooth paste. Apply this paste on the silverware, and leave it on for about a half hour.
● Splash a small amount of water over the silverware to loosen the paste coating. Take a toothbrush and rub its bristles on it gently. When the entire surface is done, wash the silverware under running water. No doubt, your silverware will get a completely different look.
Method 5: Lemon juice + salt
● Lemon juice is truly a miracle agent, with its many uses, it should be your go to ingredient for cleaning. Just mix together a spoonful of lemon juice with two tbsp. salt, and rub it on your silver with a dry cloth.
● You can even make a solution of 1 tbsp. lemon juice, ½ cup instant dry milk, and 1 ½ cups, and let your silver soak in it for a couple of hours. Recapture shine, with this simple kitchen staple. Lemon soda is also very effective in removing tarnish from silver.
Method 6: Cream of tartar or corn starch
● Cream of tartar or potassium hydrogen tartrate can be used to polish silver. You can just rub some on your silver, and then wash off with water.
● Corn starch can also make a handy tarnish remover. Just make a paste with water and rub on silver with a dry cloth. Too remove any residue wash with cold water, and dry properly.
Method 7: Detergent or Window cleaner
● Detergent is not only effective in cleaning your clothes, but can also fight silver tarnish. Just dissolve some detergent in warm water, and soak your silver for an hour in it. Remove, rinse with cold water, and wipe it dry.
● You can also use a window cleaner to shine those silvers. Rub some cleaner using a cloth on those spots, to make them disappear.
Method 8: Ketchup
● Yes, tomato ketchup can be very useful in removing tarnish from silver. Just rub some ketchup using a towel or dry cloth, and all the spots will disappear. For those hard to budge spots, soak the silver in ketchup for about 15 minutes. Run the spots with a dry cloth or tissue paper, and wash with cold water.
Method 9: Hand sanitizer
● Another ingredient that is a very effective yet gentle. It makes a great polish if the tarnish is not too dark. Just rub off some on your ware, and wash off with cold water.
All the above mentioned methods for cleaning silverware are equally effective and are sure to deliver positive results. Whichever method you select, perform it at least thrice a year. You can clean your silverware after a span of four months. Regular cleaning is sufficient to keep silverware safe, shiny and elegant for centuries.