Clean Your Silver without Polishing ~ Homemaking 101 Tip #7

With the Holidays just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about getting your serving items {silver, dishes, linens} ready.  I love silver, especially antique silver, but I have always been hesitant to use it because of having to POLISH it ~ groan ~.  When I was younger I remember my mom having a plastic tray with a metal insert that she would put in the sink and then fill with water and something else that I just could not remember what it was.  I had seen some pins on pinterest and the most common something else was baking soda.  I thought I had nothing to lose so I gave it a try.

I found this antique silver tray at my favorite antique store for $5.00.  It was in definite need of some polishing/cleaning so this was my test piece.

First, I lined my kitchen sink with aluminum foil ~

Next, I added about a cup of baking soda to the middle of the foil ~ be sure you have your sink stopper in because you don’t want your mixture to go down the drain ~ you want your silver to ‘soak’.

Now….all the tips I read said to use very hot water but that didn’t work for me.  I don’t have my water heater set too high because of the kids and not wanting them to get burned accidentally so I ended up having to do this a second time but instead boiled some water in the tea kettle.  This worked like a charm for me but you may want to try just the ‘very hot water’ option first.

There it is ~ a quick, easy and inexpensive way to clean your silver WITHOUT polishing.


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  1. Thank you for the tip. There is no way that I want to sit and polish silver. This is why I pass up sterling silver.
    ~we may have met by chance…but we become friends by choice.

    • Mary Beth says:

      Thank so much for stopping by, Sue ~ I’m glad you liked the tip. Since I’ve been cleaning my silver this way I find that I am definitely using it more and I’m on the lookout to buy more ~ the baking soda and hot water are so much easier than the smelly nasty cream I used to use. Have a wonderful week! hugs, mb

  2. I came over from My Romantic Home. What an amazing tip. I’ve steered clear of silver/silverplate for this very reason of polishing, yet I’ve inherited pieces I’d love to be using for display. Thanks!

  3. wow I never knew about this trick! inspired now to tackle my sad looking silver! xoxo
    malia´s last blog post ..Vintage Finds: Laguna Vintage Pottery

  4. Very cool tip! Thanks for sharing. I stopped by from six sisters!
    Jeannie-JB´s last blog post ..Faux Chalk Paint – Part 2

  5. Danyelle Franciosa says:

    Thanks a lot for the tip and I was learned on how to clean a silver. I have so many silver in the house and some of which was stained. BY the way thanks once again for this tips.
    Danyelle Franciosa´s last blog post ..Allkind Joinery Brisbane – Upholding a Proud Tradition

  6. Nancy Marino says:

    I LOVE silver and have some sweet pieces, but while I start out enjoying the polishing it soon becomes a chore especially when I buy a big lot of silverware or a boxlot of trays. My husband thinks I’m nuts when I display them partially or totally tarnished. I think they still have charm that way- sometimes more.

  7. Gina Montanha says:

    Does this work for silver jewelry as well?

    • Hi Gina, I have never tried it on silver jewelry so I’m not sure. If I ever do, I’ll be sure to let you know. Sorry my answer wasn’t more helpful. Thanks so much for stopping by. Mary Beth

  8. It does not say how long to soak it for?

    • Hi Darcy,

      Once the water cools down it looses it’s effectiveness. That being said, when I cleaned my silver all of the cleaning took place in approximately 3 minutes. I cleaned some more today just to time if for you. : ) Once it’s done, rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

      I hope that answered your question.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Mary Beth