Almost everyone has something silver at home. It is present in cutlery, jewelry, rings, cups, trays, and even musical instruments, among other products.
Silver is a very beautiful and shiny metal that gives a feeling of clarity, purity, and refinement. But any silver object needs some special attention in care and periodic cleaning to maintain all its vitality and shine.
Over time, even the best quality silver can darken and its indentations take on a dark color, like grime, or stains that spread across the surface. This happens because of exposure to air, which carries dust, and moisture that causes oxidation.
But cleaning silver is simpler than it may sound, and if you store it carefully, you won’t have to worry about cleaning it for a long time.
Some specific silver cleaning products are available at markets or specialty stores. But for those who want to clean without spending too much, there are some homemade recipes that achieve results as good or better than special products. Make your silverware look like new using these simple ingredients and tricks:
Toothpaste is one of the oldest tricks that, although strange, really works. In its composition, toothpaste often contains sodium bicarbonate or other abrasive components, great for cleaning and for giving shine. Use common white folders.
Step by step: Always use a very soft sponge or brush. If not, prefer to use a cloth, to avoid scratches on the parts. Gently rub the silver pieces with the toothpaste. Then wash them with soap and water to remove any traces and let them dry. You can also use a flannel or soft cloth to polish it to make the silver even shinier.
2. Sodium bicarbonate
Baking soda is the perfect tool for cleaning silver objects. But beware: do not use this method for high-value pieces, as baking soda is very abrasive and can wear out the most superficial layer of silver, but nothing that will damage the piece. You can use this product in two ways:
Cleaning with baking soda and water: use baking soda paste mixed with water. Using a sponge, brush, or soft cloth, clean the entire surface of the object, wash and you’re done.
Boiling water bath with baking soda: for small items such as earrings, necklaces, rings, brooches, etc., mix a coffee spoon of baking soda powder in a pan with half a liter of water, immerse the items, and place on the stove. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and keep the pieces soaked in the solution for a few minutes. They come out light without any effort. For a brighter effect, polish the pieces with a flannel or a very soft cloth. Attention: do not leave parts in the solution for more than a few minutes. If you spend too much time, silver can corrode and lose its natural luster. Following these instructions, everything will be perfect!
The simplest recipe is made with the easiest ingredient to have on hand. Salt is also abrasive and recommended for many types of cleaning. For cleaning silver, you will only need a container and hot water.
Step by step: Soak the pieces in a container with hot saltwater. After a while, the dark parts will naturally lighten. Then just wash it with water and dry it well.
4. Aluminum foil
This tip is mainly for silver pieces with more details and cracks that are harder to access with sponges or rags. Aluminum foil reacts with water and returns the pieces to their full shine.
Step by step: place the pieces in a container of boiling water and add pieces of aluminum foil. Simmer for about twenty minutes or when the silver clears. Wait a few minutes until the pieces are clear, remove, wash under running water and dry well, polishing with a soft cloth if you want more shine.
5. Banana peel
This wonderful fruit is not just for eating! The banana peel also has several uses, including polishing silver and metal.
Step by step: Just rub the inside of the banana peel on the pieces to be polished and then polish with a clean, soft cloth.
All these tips really work and are very simple to do. But never lose attention to details like the action time of each product. Even products sold in specialized stores can damage the parts if used incorrectly.
How to save silver
There are also simple ways to protect your silver pieces so they last longer and without the need for frequent cleaning. It’s worth investing in these tips to keep the silver always clean, shiny and preserved, ready to use!
- Store in a dry place avoiding contact with cleaning products or other metals;
- Store jewelry or small pieces inside cloth or flannel bags, thus avoiding direct contact with moisture and dust;
- Avoid storing dirty parts or leaving them dirty for a long time. For dishes and cutlery, wash them after use and, if you cannot wash them right away, soak them in water, preventing the dirt from sticking further;
- Do not clean or wash silver objects with a wire brush or sponges with high friction. Even a little, they can scratch the surface of the pieces;
- Store silver wrapped in plastic film. Pack it well, leaving as little air in as possible and no bits outside. This will significantly reduce the amount of cleaning required. You can also use tightly closed (and squeaky clean!) plastic bags;
- Do not wash silver items in the dishwasher. Used products and washing dynamics can damage silver;
- Moisture is the biggest enemy of silver conservation, so always keep the pieces completely dry and, if possible, with protection;
- Keep a separate soft flannel exclusively for cleaning or polishing silver parts.
With a little knack and a little care, your silver objects can last for a long time, with all their beauty. Take advantage of our tips to make them last longer and better!