How to clean tarnished silver – the 7 steps for restoring silver

Cleaning hack: Expert shows quick tip for cleaning jewellery

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Pure 99.9 percent silver never tarnishes, but any sterling silver will definitely tarnish over time as a result of the mix of metals. So, how do you get your silver looking good as new again? chatted to the team at Cleanipedia to find out the seven steps to cleaning tarnished silver, whether it’s cutlery, jewellery or something else.

When silver is exposed to air, it comes into contact with sulphur-containing gases and discolours.

As the silver reacts with the gas, it forms a surface layer of tarnish that is difficult to remove.

Placing silver in an air-tight sealed display might not be enough to protect the silver, so it is very difficult to prevent tarnishing.

If your prized silver possessions have tarnished, there is something you can do about it to restore the silver to its former glory.

How to clean tarnished silver

You need:

  • Bowl (large enough to submerge your silverware)
  • Tongs
  • Clean tea towel
  • Hot water
  • Kitchen foil
  • Laundry detergent

Step one

Line a bowl with kitchen foil, using as many foil sheets as you need to cover the bottom of the bowl.

If you have larger silver items that need shining, use a bucket or a larger container.

Step two

Fill the bowl with enough hot water to wholly cover your silver items.

Step three

Add one tablespoon of laundry detergent (regular laundry powder or liquid works fine).

Then, give it a stir with the tongs to make sure it’s all mixed in.

Step four

Soak your silverware in the mixture at once, leaving your items in the solution for a couple of minutes at least.

Step five

Remove the silverware from the solution, using a pair of tongs if the water is still hot.

If there is any tarnish remaining, put it back in the bowl for a further minute or two. Repeat as necessary.

Step six

When all the tarnish has gone, run under a tap, ensuring you remove all traces of detergent.

Step seven

Don’t rush the drying process or try to use a hairdryer.

Simply lay out your items on a tea-towel, keeping them separate so they don’t scratch each other.

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