I recently inherited a bunch of beautiful silver from both sides of my family. Some of it is plated and some not. The beautiful but filthy silver candlesticks from my Grandma’s collection have been sitting in my closet for a couple years now. I would love to put them on display but the idea of polishing silver all day to get such meager results, ruined nails, filthy clothes and exhausted arms makes me want to start cutting myself. I heard the rumor that there was an easier way so I began my Google hunt. Bingo! I found it -aluminum foil or aluminum pan (like a disposable turkey tray), salt, hot water and baking soda! A miracle was born. Pop it all in a tray and a few seconds later your piece is clean. It was so exciting that I found myself giggling and smiling as a friend stood by squealing in delight. Perhaps I should have paid more attention in chemistry and maybe these experiences would be more frequent. Anyway, here’s the scoop; the measurements don’t have to be precise:

1. Place aluminum foil in a tub, tray, bucket or even your sink

2. Pour in enough hot water to cover the item

3. Sprinkle in approximately 2 tablespoons of both baking soda and salt (I tend to just pour in a bunch of each.)

4. Place the piece of tarnished silver in the water and make sure it is touching the foil

5. Wait a few seconds until you see the silver is clean. Some items take longer but don’t leave it in more than 5 minutes or so

6. Wipe silver with a soft cloth to get off all the moisture

7. Rub the silver with a silver polishing cloth or gloves just for a few seconds to give it the full luster

Keep in mind that this is my personal experience and please follow my lead with caution. Check out this page for a list of warnings: Wikihow

My only other suggestion is to not leave the silver in the bath too long or you just might take off too much silver or damage the piece. I didn’t feel that the bath was any more damaging than the traditional cleaners but obviously I am not a scientist. Frankly, to me any risk was worth it because what is the point of leaving tarnished silver in your closet for years?