From your most beloved pieces of silver jewelry to that stunning set of flatware you only break out at the holidays, silver is one of the most practical and sophisticated metals for a range of occasions. Its timeless look makes it a favorite among trend-seekers and traditionalists alike, utilizing the metal to line tables for special events and everyday use.
However, like many fine metals, silver can fall prey to a variety of environmental assailants. Dust, dirt, and exposure to the elements can dramatically affect the color and clarity of silver, which is why knowing how to clean silver is so essential. Whether you’re refreshing your jewelry drawer or planning your next dinner party, keep reading for our easy, eco-friendly guide to cleaning silver.
Cleaning Hack #1: Baking Soda and Water
You may already be familiar with the magical versatility of baking soda, but you can add cleaning silver to the list. Simply mix baking soda with a bit of water to a paste-like consistency, and then rub it over the surface of the silver. After buffing the surface with the paste, rinse the silver to fully remove any residual baking soda. Gently blot dry with a clean cloth.
Cleaning Hack #2: Rubbing Alcohol
This is the perfect fix for smudges, mild spotting, and tarnish. Mix four parts water with one part rubbing alcohol, dampen a clean cloth, and gently buff the silver. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe clean.
Cleaning Hack #3: Toothpaste
Believe it or not, toothpaste has every element required for how to clean silver to perfection. Organic toothpaste works brilliantly, and it plays best with a soft cloth like microfiber or flannel. Simply dab a bit of toothpaste onto the cloth, and then gently rub the surface of the silver. Rinse the silver with warm water, then use a separate clean cloth to pat dry.
Cleaning Hack #4: Vinegar and Aluminum
Much like baking soda, vinegar is famously versatile and effective as a cleaning solution. For this method, simply line a glass or iron pan with aluminum foil (make sure the shiny side is facing upward), and then pour in a mix of one part vinegar with four parts water. Bring the mixture to a boil, drop in the silver, and let it rest for about five minutes. Remove the silver, rinse it with warm water, and then wipe it dry with a clean cloth.
Up next, read on for the 15 items you’re forgetting to clean—and how to tackle them.