Homemade Silver & Copper Tarnish Remover and Cleaner

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Copper may develop a green patina over time.
Copper may develop a green patina over time. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Over time, moisture from the air causes tarnish to build up on silver and copper. Although these black, brown or green deposits don't cause damage, they may reduce the aesthetic appeal of your flatware or dishes. Keep your silver and copper kitchenware clean and tarnish-free with a few household items. Store them in a dry location and use them frequently to prevent tarnish buildup.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • Clean soft cloths

Homemade Cleaner for Copper

Dissolve 1 tsp. salt in 1 cup white vinegar. Stir in enough flour to make a paste.

Apply the paste to the copper vessel with a soft cloth. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes to one hour, depending on the severity of the stains.

Rinse the vessel and dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth.

Homemade Cleaner for Silver

Mix 1 cup baking soda with 1 cup water to make a thick paste. Add more baking soda if necessary.

Apply the mixture to your silver items with a soft cloth. Rub the silver using a circular motion.

Rinse the silver in clean water to remove the paste and wash it in soapy water.

Dry the silver thoroughly with a clean cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash your copper and silver kitchenware in sudsy water before removing tarnish.
  • When choosing homemade cleaners for removing tarnish and hard water spots, keep in mind that acids remove tarnish, while mild abrasives remove dirt and grime. Substitute lemon juice and salt or cream of tartar instead of vinegar and baking soda.
  • Wear cotton gloves when working with silver.
  • Consult a professional restorer for valuable antique silver or copper vessels.

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