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How to Polish Silver (homemaking tutorial)!!

Hello Tatertots & Jello readers!  I’m excited to be back here this month sharing another one of my super simple cleaning tips! Have you noticed that vintage silver is making a comeback?

I see pictures of people using it to decorate, all over Pinterest, and I love it.
I have always loved silver, I’ve just never had a lot of it, but as I get older I’m slowly collecting pieces.
A couple months ago I borrowed my mother-in-law’s silver {it used to be her mother-in-law’s so it’s beautiful & antique} for my daughter’s Princess Birthday Party.  The silver was very tarnished so my mom told me a super easy trick for polishing it that takes hardly any time at all!  I figured with the popularity of silver on the rise that this would be a great DIY trick to share with all of you!

Here’s what you need:
A large pot or a large sink
Baking Soda
Hot water
Tarnished Silver
Line a pot, or in my case the kitchen sink, with foil.  Pour about 1 cup of baking soda into the bottom of the sink and then it fill with very hot water.
Once you’ve added the water place the silver in the sink.  My mom told me to let it sit in the baking soda water for 30 minutes, but right away I noticed the tarnish leaving the silver.
This would be fun to do with older kids because you can actually watch the tarnish coming off the silver, it’s pretty cool.
Next I cleaned a large serving platter that I inherited from my husband’s grandma.  I changed the foil and baking soda in between the tea pots and the platter because the foil was covered in tarnish and needed to be switched out.  This is a bit of a smelly task, it reminds me of the smell of sulfur, not my favorite.
Look at the transformation!
In less than 30 minutes {and with no scrubbing} the silver went from dingy and tarnished to shiny and gorgeous!

The polished silver was beautiful, perfect for decorating for a Princess party!

Thank you so much for letting me be here with you today!

Thanks Anna!! I have a platter that is needing to be polished so bad. I am excited to try this out!!
Here are a few other great ideas from Ask Anna:
How to Organize Paint Cans
Bathroom Makeover
How to Clean Your Washing Machine
Be sure to follow along with Anna at Ask Anna for great ways to organize YOUR life!!
And if you are in the SLC area, be sure to stop by the amazing Queen Bee Market this weekend. It is going to be amazing!! I hope to see you there.


  1. Thanks for the tip!

    Is the tin foil part of the reaction? I wonder if this could be done in a porcelain tub for large platters?

  2. i have tried this twice and nothing happened both times! what am i doing wrong?

  3. I, too, have found that this is harsh on some silver. Instead, I use the liquid silver polish and one of those plastic tubs you when you stay in the hospital. Pour the cleaner into the tub and then put your silver in. Takes the tarnish right off, even from the little crevices, and it only take a minute. I do this outside because of the smell. Rinse your silverware afterward and it will be sparkly and ready to use. Stays untarnished for 2-3 months!

  4. WOW! Thank you so much for this! My aunt and grandmother have been giving my silver by the box full and it is all tarnished! I spent hours cleaning one platter! I am trying it right now in my tub!
    I stumbled on your website elast night and already have a list of projects to do! Your site is wonderful!
    Best Amber

  5. Wow, I’m impressed by your results! I just posted this exact same method on my blog a few days earlier and it was not good for me at all! It actually damaged my silver pieces so I wrote an entry against doing it. http://www.unskinnyboppy.blogspot.com/2012/04/very-pinteresting-homemade-jewelry.html

    I wonder why there are such mixed results with this method?

  6. Hi Anna and Jen! I feel like the ugly witch inviting herself to Sleeping Beauty’s baby shower, but I would recommend caution when using this method. I have used this method a couple of times before, and I find it too harsh. I only own silver plate – except for a few pieces of jewelry – and this method removed some of the silver. I am so sad that it changed my pieces, and I wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone else. I loved this method because the silver came out very sparkly, but I was just disappointed afterwards. I can’t speak for real silver pieces. Anyway, so sorry to crash the party – just wanted to share my results. Please forgive.

  7. Love this idea. How full is the sink with water? All the way or just enough to cover the items?

  8. Wow! What an amazingly simple process compared to the days of old!

  9. Thanks for these tips! I’ve always wondered about this. I do not personally have any silver, but I know my grandmother does and she is also needing hers cleaned!

    • I bet she’d love this trick because she probably has always done it the old fashioned way!! :)


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  10. Awesome! I polished an old tea set my mother gave me til my fingers hurt, but never finished…..a.k.a. “gave up”. Thanks so much for the tip…T’m going to try it this morning.

  11. Elizmari says:

    Hi! Would the silver polishing technique work for silver plated items as well, or is it just for solid silver items?

    I have a lovely silver plated tea set that needs cleaning.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

  12. This is EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning, thank you so much for the tips. Will try ASAP

  13. Brilliant! I pinned this for future reference, thank you so much!

  14. Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for sharing this. Pinning this for sure! I have several of my Grandma’s silver pieces that I have kept for the last 7 or so years. I had no idea how to get them clean. She is gone now and I want to be able to use them. My mom even talked with a jeweler about how to clean them…they said it wasn’t possible. I can’t wait to try this…then use the silver!
    Thank you so much!

  15. Thanks so much Jen!! This looks easy and I seem to be collecting silver too…Well at least silver plated things. :) I will will have to give it a try! Until then I pinned it to my Helpful Hints Board.

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