The Best Way to Polish Silver


The beauty of silver can last for generations if it is taken care of properly. Cleaning, polishing and a little bit of preventive maintenance can keep your favorite silver products looking like new. Polishing silver is not necessarily cleaning it. It is always a good idea to remove all of the tarnish from the silver before you start the polishing process. A good clean and polish routine can help to keep your silver beautiful for any occasion.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum foil
  • Pan large enough to hold silver product
  • Pan to boil water
  • Baking soda 1 cup / gallon of water
  • Silver polish
  • Soft non-abrasive cloth


  • Line the inside of the pan with aluminum foil. Place the silver object in the pan on the aluminum foil.

  • Pour water into a second pan. Heat the water to boiling.

  • Remove the pan from the stove and place it into the sink.

  • Add 1 cup of baking soda to the water per 1 gallon of water used. The baking soda may cause a reaction that may cause the water to overflow over the pan's sides.

  • Pour the baking soda and water mixture into the aluminum lined pan. The water level should be 2 to 3 inches above the silver object. The tarnish will evaporate.

  • Remove the silver from the pan and dry it with a soft non-abrasive cloth.


  • Place a small amount of polish to the cloth. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how much to apply. Check out the Resource section of this article to view Good Housekeeping's test for which product is the best for silver polishing.

  • Using the cloth rub the polish onto the silver item. Run in an up-and-down motion when applying the silver polish. This will decrease the chances of scratching the silver.

  • Rinse the item in warm water.

  • Dry with a soft non-abrasive cloth separate from the one you used for the polishing.

  • Repeat steps on each piece of silver.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not store silver so it is touching rubber or stainless steel. Both of these can cause damage to the silver pieces.
  • When using silver flatware in foods, avoid long periods of contact with high-sulfur content like eggs, or mayonnaise.

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  • Photo Credit silver sugar bowl with silver spoon image by Alex White from
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