Tarnish is a natural occurrence in metals caused by the oxidation from exposure to air over time. Metals usually discolor as they age. Tarnish is just superficial. It does not affect the metal underneath. Metal can be easily cleaned to bring back its brilliant shine. There is no need to buy expensive tarnish removers. Things around the house can be used to effectively remove tarnish from any metal object.
Baking Soda and Water
Boil one quart of water and mix with a quarter of a cup of baking soda. Pour the mixture into a pan lined with aluminum foil and soak for a few minutes. Pour enough liquid to cover the pieces that need to be cleaned. Use more water to clean bigger metal pieces. The ratio is 1 cup of baking soda for every gallon of water used. Rinse the pieces thoroughly with cold water after soaking in the baking soda mixture. Baking soda residue will leave a dull finish on the metal pieces.
For metal pieces that have intricate designs, it is best to make a paste out of the baking soda and water. Mix three parts baking soda with one part water to make a paste. Use a soft cloth to apply the paste to the metal pieces. Make sure all crevices are covered with the paste. After applying the paste, rinse it off with cold water and then dry with a soft cloth.
Salt and Vinegar
The easiest way to clean copper and brass pieces is to pour white vinegar in a glass container. Pour enough vinegar to cover the piece, then add a teaspoon of salt. Soak the piece in the mixture and swirl it around. Be sure not to soak it for a long time or it may get damaged. Rinse the piece well after soaking and dry it with a soft cloth.
For tarnish that is hard to remove, make a paste out 1 tablespoon each of salt, vinegar and flour. Rub it all over the surface of the copper piece until the tarnish comes off. Rinse it in warm water mixed with a small amount of soap. If some tarnish remains, repeat the process. Buff it with a soft rag until it is shiny.
Toothpaste Tarnish Remover
Regular white toothpaste is an affective cleaner to remove tarnish from silver pieces. Apply toothpaste on a soft cloth and coat the silver piece entirely. Use an old toothbrush to apply toothpaste into all the crevices of intricately designed silver jewelry.
Rinse the piece in warm water. Use the same toothbrush used earlier to remove the toothpaste thoroughly. Use a clean cloth to dry and buff the silver until it is shiny.
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