Does your kitchen have any silver cutlery that have lost their shine or became dull over time? If so, it is high time you learned how to clean silverware easily. Cutlery and utensils made of silver tend to react with Sulphur in the air, hair sprays, skin oils, cosmetics, perfumes and some specific foods. In turn, these chemical reactions cause them to tarnish and even turn black.
We can all agree that there is nothing as embarrassing as serving guests with tarnished silverware. Luckily, there are a number of ways to clean silverware and remove all the accumulated tarnish. And the best thing about most of these ways is that they are easy, simple and completely natural!
Consider 10 simple, natural ways on how you can clean your silverware and restore their original shine:
Method 1: Laundry Detergent
This cleaning technique is recommended for silver jewelry and silverware that have a slight tarnishing.
- Laundry Detergent
- Empty Bowl
- Aluminum Foil
- Paper Towel
- Kitchen Tongs
1. In a clean, empty bowl, line an aluminum foil over the entire surface and fill it with hot water. Then, add one tablespoon of laundry detergent into the water and stir well.
2. Drop all your silverware into the solution and let it soak for a few minutes. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, remove all the silverware from the bowl. Rinse them with lukewarm water. Then, lay the silverware on a clean paper towel and leave them to dry.
Method 2: Ammonia
Ammonia solution helps to brighten silver items naturally, such as jewelry and cutlery. However, you should never use ammonia solution to clean antique silverware.
- Warm Water
- Empty Bucket
- Soft Cloth
- Dry, Cotton Cloth
1. In a clean bucket, mix ammonia solution with warm water in the ratio 1:2. Soak all your silverware in the solution for ten minutes.
2. After soaking the silverware items, take them out and wipe them using a clean, soft cloth. Also, buff the silverware with a dry cotton cloth; this helps to polish and brighten the silverware surfaces.
Method 3: Baking Soda
This method is ideal for when you are cleaning bigger silverware items, such as silver tableware, cutlery and candlesticks. It is also recommended for when cleaning more than one silver item.
- Aluminum Foil
- Large, Clean Baking Pan
- Baking Soda
- Kitchen Tongs
- Paper Towel
1. Line an aluminum foil at the bottom of a baking pan. Make sure that the shiny side of the aluminum foil is up. Also, do not use a metal bake ware; use a glass or ceramic baking pan to prevent any unwanted chemical reactions.
2. Fill the glass or ceramic bake ware with water. Add baking soda into the water (for every gallon of water, ad 1.5 tablespoons of baking soda).
3. Bring the aluminum-soda solution to a boil. Soak all the silverware items in the solution for 15 seconds, then remove them using a pair of kitchen tongs. Place the silverware on a paper towel and allow the items time to cool. If the silverware still has any stubborn stains or tarnish, repeat steps 1 to 3 until all the items are shiny and sparkling.
Method 4: Ketchup
As weird as it may sound, ketchup is a very effective cleaner when it comes to removing tarnish from silverware. The cleaning method is especially ideal for when cleaning a few silver items, preferably one or two silver items.
- Paper Towel
- Clean Microfiber Cloth
- Soft Toothbrush
1. On a clean paper towel, squeeze four to five drops of ketchup. Then, rub the silverware items on the paper towel. If the items have old or stubborn tarnish, apply the ketchup directly on the buildup areas and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
2. Wipe the silverware items with a clean, microfiber cloth and rinse them with running water. For those silverware items that have more details, use a soft toothbrush to scrub the crevices and hard-to-reach areas.
Method 5: Toothpaste
This is one of the easiest ways to remove tarnish from silverware. However, it is recommended that you use non-abrasive and non-gel types of toothpaste, as these do not react with the silverware surfaces.
- Paper Towel or Paper Napkin (Alternatively, you can use a soft cloth)
1. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste on a clean, towel paper or napkin. Rub the towel paper onto the silverware in circular motions. Let the paste sit for at least five minutes.
2. Rinse off the silverware with clean water. Your silverware items should now be clean and shiny.
Method 6: Lemon-Lime Soda
Lemon-lime soda is real easy way for removing mat and slight tarnishes in silverware items.
- Lemon-lime Soda
- Plastic Bowl
- Dry, Soft Cloth (or paper towel)
1. Fill a plastic bowl with lemon-lime soda. Soak the tarnished silverware items in the solution and leave them to soak for at least an hour.
2. After one hour, remove the silverware from the solution and rinse the items thoroughly with clean water. Using a dry, soft cloth or paper towel, pat the silver items dry.
Method 7: Corn Flour
Corn flour helps to restore the shine of any tarnished or blackened silverware.
- Corn Flour (Alternatively, you can use cream of tartar)
- Clean Towel
1. Add a little water to corn flour to form a thick paste. Apply the paste onto each silverware item and allow it time to dry completely.
2. When the paste has completely dried, wipe it off using a clean towel. All the silverware surfaces should be polished and their shine restored.
Silver is used to make some the most beautiful, high-quality pieces, such as candlesticks, vases and even cutlery. Yet, if not cared for, the shiny finishing of silverware can become dull and tarnished. Therefore, it is always advisable that you clean your silverware periodically. Using the above suggestions on how to clean silverware easily, you can restore the shine on your cutlery and get them sparkling again in no time!