Cleaning silver; like silverware and household silver, isn’t as common today as it once was many years ago. Silver tarnishes and requires frequent hand-polishing (often for long periods). It’s not so bad when it’s one piece; however, it’s a gruelling task when it’s an entire set!
The maintenance of household silver has basically become a thing of the past; along with actually owning and using said silver.
My grandmother (and my mom) had a lot of silver! Not just one silver tea set (oh no!); one tea set and one coffee set, and an entire 20-30 pc set, and silverware for 12 for red meat, fowl, AND fish! Then there’s dessert! Oh my!
During my recent visit to Portugal, I left much of this overview of items there. I did; however, return with select items. Unfortunately, I have to face cleaning them. Ugh.
If you’re facing a similar situation, you might try these suggestions in steps or on their own (some are meant for jewellery but silver is silver so there’s no reason why you can’t try) **:
– rub the silver with a cotton ball dipped in white vinegar, using small circular motions, then wipe it dry with a towel
– cover the bottom of a pot with aluminium foil, and lay the foil so the shiny side faces up. Add 1 tablespoon of salt along with 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the pot, then pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar, followed by 1 cup of water, then bring the mixture to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, remove the pot from the stove and soak your silver in the vinegar mixture for at least 15 minutes. If your silver is very tarnished, you may need to soak it a bit longer. Remove each piece with tongs and buff it dry with a clean towel. This recipe will render a good amount of solution; but it’s a small amount for those very large pieces! – fill a glass with 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of flour, then combine the ingredients to make a thick paste. Go ahead and rub the paste on the silver item and let it set for 15 minutes. Follow by washing the paste off with warm water and then dry the silver with a clean cloth
– dampen a toothbrush with water, then dip it in baking soda … scrub the silver with the toothbrush. You can then dip the toothbrush in white vinegar and scrub the silver item again. When the baking soda stops fizzing, rinse the silver off with warm water and dry it with a clean towel
**Use these suggestions at your own risk.
These suggestions can be a very economical (DIY) way of cleaning your silver.