Mother Earth Living

Polished Performers: Homemade Silver Polish Recipes

Clean grandma's prized silver with our nontoxic recipes for homemade silver polish.
By Ken Hoyt
November/December 2005
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Give your silver some holiday shine using this simple baking soda polish.
Photo By Ken Hoyt

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Have a cache of your grandma’s prized silver that never gets a turn on the table? Consider polishing up your heirlooms for holiday entertaining. Our recipes will make your silver sparkle without impacting the environment or exposing you to toxic petroleum distillates (respiratory and skin irritants).

Miracle Silver Cleaner 

This is terrific for cleaning a lot of silver quickly through a simple chemical reaction that removes the dark patina—even from crevices—so it might be unsuitable for intricate designs.

1 large glass baking pan
1/2 cup baking soda
aluminum foil

1. Boil enough water to fill the baking pan.

2. Meanwhile, line the baking pan with aluminum foil.

3. Place the silver to be cleaned in the pan. It’s important that the silver touch the foil.

4.Distribute 1/2 cup of baking soda over the silver, then completely immerse the silver with the boiling water.

5. Soak for about 5 minutes.

6. Rinse and dry the silver.

Silver-Polishing Paste 

1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup water

1. Place the baking soda in a nonreactive glass container.

2. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix well. If the paste is too stiff, add more water.

3. Lightly dampen a soft cotton cloth and work a generous amount of paste onto the surface. Rub the tarnished area, then rinse and dry.

Helpful Hints 

• Avoid using rubber gloves; rubber promotes tarnish.

• Consider storing silver pieces in silver cloth or airtight containers to make the next cleaning easier.

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