How to Clean and Polish Silver with Baking Soda

updated Aug 15, 2023
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Whether company’s coming over or you find yourself with a few spare minutes, it’s never a bad time to think about polishing your silver for some extra shine.

If your chest of flatware or julep cups are looking less than occasion-ready, worry not! This quick kitchen remedy made of simple ingredients can save you a lot of time and a big mess — and you probably already have everything you need. This simple setup isn’t too far from an elementary school science project. Clear some space on your table or counter, and let’s make that silver sparkle. Watch the video below or follow the step-by-step instructions.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • White vinegar
  • Aluminum foil
  • Water
  • Glass dish or aluminum baking pan
  • Rag for polishing

How to Clean and Polish Silver

1. Combine baking soda and sea salt: Combine one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of sea salt. Then, sprinkle the mixture into the pan.

2. Add white vinegar: Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Here’s when you’ll start to notice a chemical reaction.

3. Add boiling water: Carefully pour in one cup of boiling water.

4. Place the silverware: Place silver in a single layer so that each piece is touching the pan or foil. (Add more hot water if needed to make sure all the pieces are fully submerged.) Let soak for 30 seconds. Note: Heavily tarnished pieces will need a few extra minutes.

5. Dry and buff: Dry the piece thoroughly, then buff with a clean cloth.

How to Get a Great Shine After Cleaning

After you’ve cleaned your silver and removed all the tarnish, you may want to give it a good shine! If necessary, a silver polish cream can also address small crevices and offer a shining finish. Here are our favorite picks: