6 household items that can polish silver

Cleaning tarnished silver is a task most homeowners only think about when preparing for holiday events.

If you're short on time or don't want to bother with it, the simplest option is hiring a house cleaning company to help. House cleaning companies will often help with specific chores such as polishing silver upon request.

If you choose to polish silver yourself, you can buy special products for this purpose, or you could just open up your pantry. Here are six household items you can use to get your silver sparkling once more.



1. Toothpaste: Toothpaste makes your teeth shine, and it can add shine to your silver, too. Apply a small amount of white toothpaste to your finger, then rub it into the silver.

baking soda


2. Baking soda: Baking soda has hundreds of household uses, including polishing silver. Make a paste using baking soda and a small amount of water. Apply the paste to a damp, clean sponge and rub the sponge onto your tarnished silver. Rinse off the paste with warm water, then polish your silver with a damp cloth.

salt and citrus


3. Citrus juice and salt: The lemon or lime juice and salt in your cabinet are not just ingredients for a margarita. You can make a polishing paste by mixing one tablespoon of lime or lemon juice with two tablespoons of salt. Polish silver with the paste, then rub with a dry cloth.

cream of tartar


4. Cream of tartar: You can also make a polishing paste using cream of tartar. The full name for cream of tartar is potassium hydrogen tartrate. It is an acid salt, so the acid and salt work together to make a fabulous paste for cleaning tarnished silver.



5. Laundry detergent: Stain fighting laundry detergent can fight both stains and tarnish. Dissolve a small amount of detergent in warm water. Soak your tarnished silver for at least 30 minutes and gently dry with a cotton cloth.



6. Ketchup: Everyone has a bottle of ketchup in their refrigerator. Put that ketchup to work by rubbing it into tarnished silver. The acidity of the tomatoes will remove the tarnish. If your silver items are heavily tarnished, you can even soak them in ketchup.


But wait, there's more:

Ever-resourceful house cleaners have also found ways to use aluminum foil and vinegar to clean silver.

Read more

RELATED: Try baking soda and vinegar to clean your home!

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted on Oct. 24, 2011.


Line a pan or bowl that will hold the item or items with aluminum foil. Then fill with water and add salt. Place the item into the mixture and let it soak. It is a rather quick process but does smell a bit foul. You may add salt if you see no reaction. There is no scrubbing, simply remove when the tarnish is gone and dry with a soft clean cloth. Works beautifully.

I have been told that toothpaste and some of the other items here will SCRATCH your silver. You should not use them instead of regular silver paste polish.

Do I have your undivided attention? Good. Start learning how to PROPERLY care for your silver from a silversmith specializing in silver restoration, conservation, and preservation. Read the most thoroughly researched and practiced information on the Web by visiting The Care of Silver at hermansilver.

For reasonable amount of tarnish WD40 is great! For heavier tarnish, jeweller's rouge (a pink paste is ideal).

No, no, and no! Do not use these items! This article should be renamed "6 household items that can remove the tarnish from silver, and possibly cause irreparable pitting in the article". Most of these items (with the exception of baking soda) are much too harsh to be used on silver. A qualified professional should be consulted to do this for you, especially if it is fine jewelry. Some of these agents listed will also remove the silver plating from silverware, exposing the base metal. There's a good reason why businesses exist expressly for the care of silver!

Baking soda is one of the MOST abrasive polishes! Visit my Web site at hermansilver for RESPONSIBLE care information.

thanks for the tips.if u can give tips for mud stains cement stains on clothes will be good &helpful.

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