We all have silver cutlery and jewelry at home, but do we take care of them properly? Silver tends to lose its shine easily and can look very dull. Nowadays, most ‘silver’ utensils and jewelry are only coated with a thin layer of silver to make them look brighter and more distinct, but this thin layer falls off rather quickly and exposes the underlying base metal. Everyday things like air, perfume, hairspray, oil from our skin and some foodstuffs then causes these metals to oxidize. Follow our guide on how to efficiently clean your silver and bring them back to their former glory.
Yes, you read that correctly, ketchup. It might sound ridiculous and messy but ketchup actually works wonders on silver. It removes tarnishes from silver exceptionally well and works a treat if you only have a few things to clean. Squeeze some ketchup on a paper towel and gently rub it on the surface of the tarnished silver in a continuous clockwise pattern to remove the problem area. If you have an old silver item, let the ketchup sit for 10 to 20 minutes for it to work properly. Afterward, wipe the ketchup off with a soft towel and wash your item to see the results. For more intricate items like candle-holders, use a toothbrush so that the Ketchup can get into all the nook and crannies. Trust us on this one; it’s one of the family secrets my grandma passed down to me and she’s not capping with this one.
Baking powder and aluminum foil
This one is the most recommended and easiest way to clean silver and you can clean a large batch of things simultaneously; it reverses the blackening or yellowing of your jewelry and you might already have everything you need in your cupboard. This super-affordable method takes 2 to 5 minutes to work its magic, depending on the state of your silver.
For this DIY project, you’ll need hot water, one large bowl, aluminum foil and baking powder. First, boil enough water to fully submerged all your items or to fill the bowl to the top. While the water is boiling, let’s prepare the bowl, take out your aluminum foil and cover the inside of the bowl with it, be sure that the shiny side of the foil is facing up. You will then add 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of water you add to the bowl. Meaning if you add 3 cups of water, you put 3 teaspoons of baking soda in the bowl. Now let the mixture bubble before adding your silver jewelry or cutlery. Put them in the bowl, ensuring that they are touching the aluminum foil and leave it in the solute for up to five minutes for the reaction to occur and for the silver to regain its luster. Remove your items from the solution carefully, rinse with cold water and dry with a clean towel. TA-DAH, your silver looks brand new.
My mom swears by this method and will fight anyone who says it doesn’t work, so I had to put it on the list. The women in my family are very opinionated when it comes to cleaning techniques and their effectiveness. Tamarind is a fibrous fruit that is used mainly in Asian cuisines. It not only tastes great but it also cleans silver like a champion. The acidic nature of tamarind removes tarnish on silver very efficiently and is one of the most natural methods on this list. All you need for this is some tamarind paste, which you can get at your local Asian or Indian market, and some water. Take a small piece of tamarind paste and soak it in water, then take some of the softened tamarind and rub it on your desired silver item and keep scrubbing until you see that the tarnish has visibly disappeared. Once you’re done with this, rinse it with water and use a bit of liquid soap to get rid of the excess tamarind.
Sound off in the comment below and tell us if you are going to use any of these to clean your silver utensils or accessories.