How to Clean silver with baking soda and tin foil

cleaning silver with tinfoil and baking soda

Cleaning Your Holiday Silverware

Call me lazy, but for years I have been cleaning my silver flatware with this easy cleaning process when I am out of store-bought silver polish or when I have a lot to clean. Not only is it easy, but it works wonders on pieces with intricate detail.

Below is from an article I published in a past issue of New England Fine Living magazine. 

cleaning silver with baking soda and tinfoil


Aluminum foil
Glass baking dish, disposable aluminum foil pan, sink, or basin
2 cups boiling hot water (or more to make sure items are fully submerged) 2 Tbsp baking soda
2 Tbsp salt
1⁄4 cup vinegar or lemon juice (optional, but this does speed up the process) Tongs

*  Line the bottom of your selected container with aluminum foil.
*  Mix salt and baking soda together and shake on top of the foil
*  Slowly add the vinegar or lemon juice (this will bubble once it hits the baking soda and salt)
* Slowly pour in the boiling water

* Add the flatware to the water making sure it is lying at against the aluminum foil and fully submerged.
*  In  a minute or two turn over your silver pieces with the tongs.
*  The cleaning process should only take a few minutes, but could take longer depending upon the amount of tarnish you are dealing with. Sometimes you will see the tarnish lessen before your eyes.
*  Remove the silver from the hot water, rinse with warm water, and dry of with a soft cloth or paper towel rubbing lightly to remove the tarnish that was not transferred to the aluminum foil. You might want to wear gloves, to keep our hands from ge ing black, since the tarnish is easily transferable at this stage.

* Be careful while drying, your silver pieces might still be very hot.

* Use tongs at all times to prevent yourself from being scalded by the boiling water and hot metal.

Note: You may want to do this well before guests arrive since the chemical reaction causes a slight (sulfur) boiled egg scent in the air. Do not use this process on items with jewels or pearls as it may lead to damage or color changes. This process great for cleaning silver chains and tarnished silver jewelry too.

If you prefer to use a store bought item that works really well, how I have used this New England brand MANY times.