How to Properly Clean and Polish Silver

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Subject: silver

I have some silver trays and different pieces I want to display and use. What the best way to keep them looking good without polishing constantly?

Meagan Knobloch

Subject: Sunshine cloth

My mother is a jeweler and one of the things she (and other jewelers she knows) is a sunshine cloth. It's good for anything that has a patina for bring out details and works really well. Not so good for chains unless the chain is already pretty clean and your fingers turn dark as the tarnish is removed but you just need to wash your hands to take care of that. Michaels Arts and Crafts also sells polishing cloths in their jewelry department. If you know someone with a tumbler for jewelry that's a good method as well, especially for chains. Tumblers are also used for tempering (stiffening) soft metals so if you have wire jewelry or are replacing the jump ring on a piece then using a tumbler is a good choice.

Jeff Herman

Subject: Sunshine Cloths

Hello Meagan,

I have been a silver restorer and conservator for 32 years. I don't recommend polishing cloths because they can scratch, especially when used over and over again as they become contaminated with dirt and grime. I recommend Blitz Silver Shine Polish. It's on my list of "Least Abrasive Polishes." It will protect your jewelry from tarnish and is non-toxic.

Dana Junker

Subject: Silverware


I have some Danish Royal silverware that I've been collecting. Some of it is lightly to moderately tarnished and needs some love. Are some of the cleaning/polishing agents you mentioned above okay to use on silverware since you eat from them or would I need to use something else? Also, would I need to polish them after each time they are used?

Thank you for sharing your knowledge,

Jeff Herman

Subject: Silverware

Hello Dana,

As silver restorer and conservator, I highly recommend the non-toxic Blitz Silver Shine Polish. You won't need to use this product if you store your silver in a flatware chest that contains ant-tarnish strips or lined with Pacific Silvercloth.

Chellis Swenson Jensen

Subject: silver polish

About 20 years ago I did demos at a large department store. One product "The Silver Solution" was out of England and a fantastic product. It put real silver on anything you polish except steel or lead. I am on my last couple tablespoons(!) which have thickened but still works. I was told in later years that the gentleman controlling the patent was elderly, would not share it, and took it to his grave when he died. The info card with this bottle calls this a "Molecular Plating" that is permanent. What is available on today's market that compares this and its companion, "The Maintenance Solution"? HELP! I have been married long and have some beautiful pieces that will be passed to other generations and want to make sure they are lovely when that time comes. Can you email me your answer as I found this site only by chance and fear I won't find it again.

Jeff Herman

Subject: Silver Polish


I know of the plating solution you mentioned. That product no longer exists. And I would never recommend it because it put such a thin coat of silver on the object it could be polished off easily. There is NO product I can recommend short of contacting a plating company.

M. A. Brown

Subject: Simichrome

My jeweller recommended this product by Happich and I have been pleased with the results. Any reason why you do not recommend it?





Subject: silver cleaning ways at home

Ran out of the chemical brand that I usually use to clean my silver jewelry and wondered if there's a wAy to clean it with household supplies, .like baking soda, baking powder, something like that.
Well? Anyone ?

Jeff Herman

Subject: Silver Cleaning Ways at Home

Hello Debi,

Baking soda, powder, toothpaste and the like, are much too abrasive for silver. Use non-toxic Blitz Silver Shine Polish which is milder than all Hagerty polishes.


Subject: Cleaning and Polishing

I've just recently purchased Twinkle to clean some old pieces that were heavily tarnished. Can I apply Renaissance Wax after cleaning all the tarnish off to apply a protective finish? Some of our pieces are in a closed china cabinet but we also like to sit some pieces out. What about silver plated flatware that we use on occasion? Is this stuff ok to use on items we use to eat with? I can wash them prior to eating with them if that's necessary.

Jeff Herman

Subject: Cleaning and Polishing

Hello Carrie,

You can certainly use Renaissance wax on your silver for extra protection, but keep it off objects your flatware. The Blitz Silver Shine Polish is fine for your flatware since it's non-toxic. Silver is always better off in an enclosed environment. But if you have it out and the silver is protected with a silver polish with tarnish inhibitors and/or Renaissance wax, rinse it or wipe it once a month with a moist cotton cloth and dry it to remove any particulate that has landed on it. Dust can be acidic and eventually eat through the protection.


Subject: Jewelry cleaning

Silver is a delicate metal and needs care while cleaning, as abrasive substances may damage its polished surface. It’s better to clean silver ornaments as decor objects with cleansers available in the market.

Jeffrey Herman

Subject: Jewelry cleaning with cleansers?

David, you state silver is a delicate metal, so why would you use cleansers to clean it? Never EVER use cleansers to clean metal as it will leave abrasion lines that can only be removed with machine polishing. Solid silver, and especially those objects that are silver-plated, must ONLY be polished with the following silver polishes: Blitz Silver Shine Polish, Earth Friendly Silver Polish (both preferred), Twinkle Silver Polish, or 3M Tarni-Shield Silver Polish.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.