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?