How to Remove Tarnish From Silver


Silver items are often passed down as heirlooms and given as wedding or anniversary gifts. Silver tarnishes over time due to sulfur-containing substances in the air. You do not have to purchase costly cleaners in order to remove tarnish. A homemade tarnish remover is just as effective and inexpensive. Cleaning your silver and restoring the shine will allow it to grace your home for decades, so that you can pass it on to future generations.

Things You'll Need

  • Deep pan or dish (large enough for your item to be totally immersed)
  • Large pot to heat water
  • Baking soda
  • Oven mitt
  • Tongs
  • Place a strip of aluminum foil into a pan or dish deep enough to immerse the silver item. The foil should be large enough to cover the bottom of the pan or dish. Place the item to be cleaned on the foil.

  • Pour enough water into a pot to cover the silver item once you pour it into the pan or dish. Measure the water as you pour it into the pot, so that you will know how much baking soda to add. Place the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil.

  • Remove the pot from the stove and place the pot in a sink.

  • Add 1 cup baking soda per 1 gallon of water in the pot. If the silver item is very small, and you used a 1/2 gallon of water, use only 1/2 cup baking soda. The mixture might froth a bit or spill over after you add the baking soda.

  • Pour the hot mixture into the dish or pan where your silver item is laying on top of the foil. Make sure that the entire item is covered with the baking soda and water mixture.

  • Observe while the tarnish began to disappear. If your silver piece is only slightly tarnished, it may only take a few minutes until all the tarnish is removed.

  • Heat the baking soda and water mixture again if the silver item is extremely tarnished. It may take several treatments before you remove it all.

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  • Photo Credit silver cups image by Hao Wang from
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