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A Cheap Easy Way To Clean Sterling Silver

I watched my brothers do this once at my mom’s house, and was fascinated. (We’re all geeks so it doesn’t take much). As an example, I’m using a piece of sterling silver flatware from my grandmother’s collection. This works for Jewelry as well as silverware however.

1 aluminum pie plate, pan or aluminum foil (this is important!)
1-2 tbsps of baking soda
2 cups of hot water (not quite boiling)

Put the silver item in the aluminum plate or in a baking dish lined with aluminum foil. Then sprinkle the pan and the silver item with baking soda. Next pour boiling water over the item until it’s just covered. Let it sit for awhile, and use gloves* or tongs to turn over the silver item. The reaction between the aluminum, baking soda and salt will create a slight sulfur odor, but don’t worry, it’s normal and harmless. After about 15 minutes, remove the silver item with gloves or tongs and wipe with a clean cotton cloth. Then rinse the item and wash with dish soap.




* I use gloves only because I don’t like getting the smell of the cleaning fluid created by this mixture on my hands

  • How do you clean your silver jewelry and flatware?
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9 thoughts on “A Cheap Easy Way To Clean Sterling Silver

  1. Mika

    WOW. Will this work on pewter silver as well? I have some jewelry (pendants and earrings) that need a cleaning/polishing.

  2. MandiFran

    This is such a great method! I use it to clean a small silver vase that gets tarnished. Since it is a funny shape, I wrap it in aluminum foil and submerge it is hot water with the soda and salt.

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  5. PR

    Baking soda: right
    Aluminum pie plate, pan or aluminum foil: right
    Hot water: right
    Salt: WRONG

    Sodium chloride — common table salt — corrodes silver. The chemical reaction that lifts the tarnish from the silver only requires the other ingredients you listed.

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