Home Clean Expert is an affiliate for companies including Amazon Associates and earns a commission on qualifying purchases.

Best Way To Clean Tarnished Silver: Easy Homemade DIY Silver Polish

No matter if you have a prized centerpiece for your table, a special family heirloom or even something cool like my Mickey Mouse silver bell from the ’70s, anything that is made from silver will eventually tarnish.

The good news is that cleaning silver is actually pretty easy and everything that is made from silver can be cleaned in the same way. Today I am sharing with you the easiest ways to clean silver.

Cleaning Silver With Silver Polish

By a mile, the easiest way to clean your silver is with silver polish. You can pick this up in most stores and you can easily get some for a buck or two.

What You Need

  • Sivler polish
  • Clean cloth
Silver Cleaning

Steps To Clean Silver With Polish

  1. Use a clean cloth and put a little bit of the polish on the cloth.
  2. Rub the polish onto your silver. The thing to do here is to go in an up and down motion, not in circles like you may think. If your silver has any little scratches on it, gently go over these areas rather than trying to “rub the scratches out” as this does not work.
  3. While polishing, try to keep using clean areas of the polish to keep the tarnish away from the silver.
  4. Once you have gotten rid of all the tarnish, use some warm water to rinse the remainder of the polish off and give it a good, but gentle buffing to finish it off.
  5. Place it back with pride now that it is returned to its shiny glory!

One thing I want to mention is that while you can go into pretty much any supermarket and buy silver polish, if you do not like the idea of having to put it on a cloth, you can actually buy silver wipes. These are kind of like baby wipes, but they are made for cleaning silver. You use one and then throw it away.

How To Clean Silver Without Polish

There are many old-time remedies for naturally cleaning silver, I am not going to waste your time though and share with you the one method that has been actually proven to work. This is with aluminum foil and baking soda.

What You Need

  • A roll of aluminum foil
  • Glass dish or an aluminum baking tray
  • Cup of water
  • checkBaking soda (1 tablespoon)
  • checkSea salt (1 tablespoon)
  • checkWhite vinegar (half a cup)
  • checkCloth for polishing
  • checkKitchen Tongs
Silver Cleaning Solutions

Steps To Clean Silver Without Polish

  1. Bring your water to a boil and put in your baking soda.
  2. Add the sea salt to the water, then slowly pour in the vinegar, it can spit up a little so be careful and make sure you add it slowly.
  3. Place your aluminum foil into your baking tray and then pour your boiling water with its ingredients into it nice and carefully.
  4. Place your silver into the water, making sure it is touching the aluminum foil. If you are putting in multiple silver items, do not let them overlap, each piece should be on its own.
  5. Leave it in there for around a minute, depending on how bad the tarnish is, you may want to leave it a minute or two longer.
  6. Use your kitchen tongs (the water is boiling) to safely take out your silver and then you can finish it off with a cloth by polishing and buffing it. You will be amazed at how easy the tarnish comes off. When rubbing the remaining tarnish spots, make sure you use clean parts of the cloth so you do not wipe it back on.

This is a very easy process, the longest part of it is actually boiling the kettle! If the tarnish is really bad, it may take a couple of attempts and if the thing you are trying to clean is rather large, you may have to do a side at a time, which if you do. Use clean aluminum foil each time.

Read More: 6 Natural Cleaning Products

How To Prevent Tarnish

While it is pretty easy to clean silver, I have for you a few ways that you can make this something you have to do far less by keeping tarnish at bay.

Keep It In A Bag

You can actually purchase anti-tarnish bags which are not very expensive at all if you shop around. Put your silver in here and then store it in a cool, dry place.

Chalk Can Help

Really??? Well yes it can, you need to use chalk with an anti-tarnish bag, but if you put a little bit of regular chalk into the anti-tarnish bag, it will help keep the moisture off your silver which in turn helps prevent tarnish.

Tarnished Silver

Clean Your Clothes Without A Single Drop of Toxic Laundry Detergent. Patented Magnetic Technology. Learn More.

Keep Chemicals Away From Jewelry/Silver Items

When you are going out for a big night, you put your jewelry on and then give yourself a spritz of perfume. This is the wrong way to do it, the chemicals in perfume can stick to your jewelry. This is the same if you are cleaning your home, you do not want any cleaning products landing on your silver items.

Friction Slows Down Tarnish

You know in movies how you see people rub the silverware before they put it away? Well, this is because friction on silver actually slows down tarnish.

So even giving your silver ornament on the mantelpiece a rub down with a clean cloth every once and a while is going to help. Actually wearing your jewelry is going to help and just anything that gives the silver a little bit of friction is going to slow down the tarnishing process.

Many people are filled with dread when it is time to give the silver wear a good cleaning. However, as you can see it is much easier to clean silver than you would think. For me, getting some silver polish or silver wipes is always the easiest way to go.

However, aluminum foil and baking soda do actually work so if you want to clean silver with a home remedy that is the way to go.


ApartmentTherapy.comOpens in a new tab. MNN.comOpens in a new tab. and CleanMySpace.comOpens in a new tab.

Declutter your home once and for all (Even if you have no time and don't know where to begin)! Learn More.


I'm obsessed with cleaning (maybe to an unhealthy degree) and want to share all of my best tips and hacks with you.

Recent Posts