Silverware, jewelry, tea sets, serving platters and other household items become dull and even black from tarnish. According to Chymist.com, tarnish comes from hydrogen sulfide in the air reacting with silver to form silver sulfide, the dark material that collects on silver--and using an aluminum plate will remove tarnish. The cleaning action from a Silver Lightning plate involves creating a chemical reaction to remove tarnish. Most tarnish removers are pastes for polishing. Follow basic guidelines for effective results.
Things You'll Need
Sink with plug or dish pan
Run water from the hot tap to assure that it will be very hot.
Set the Silver Lightning plate in an empty sink with the sink plugged, or in a large dishpan or other waterproof container.
Place silver items in contact with the Silver Lightning plate. For best results, assure that the items aren't touching. For example, array silverware on the aluminum plate with space between the items. Tarnish can remain in areas that don't receive exposure to the water.
Add hot water so that the items on the Silver Lightning plate are fully covered. Add 2 tbs. of baking soda. Use more for a large sink or large items.
Allow the items to soak. Soak mildly tarnished items for at least a half hour. Because the water remains clear, you can see when the tarnish dissolves. Soak heavily tarnished items overnight. The sulfur odor comes from the cleaning process. The baking soda helps to remove the tarnish without any scrubbing. Don't handle the silver items until they cool.
Open the sink drain or pour off the water from the dish pan. Rinse the silver items under running water.
Despite promotional photos of mounds of silver on a Silver Lightning plate, the product should work best for cleaning a few items at a time. For stubborn tarnish, use boiling water and at least 1/2 cup of baking soda. Pour the boiling water from a teakettle or other safe container with a handle.
Consult an expert before cleaning antique or heirloom silver.
For best results, use this cleaning method on silver only. The stones in some jewelry should not be immersed in hot water or subjected to this kind of cleaning process. Don't immerse any jewelry with glued settings.