How to Polish Silver

Many people really enjoy the look of silver. It looks very clean, whether it’s on jewelry, silverware, or other objects, that silver look can really stand out. Because more people are using silver and silver-plated objects, it’s important to know how to polish silver so that it keeps that natural, beautiful shine.

How to Polish Silver

How to Polish Silver Jewelry

Silver jewelry is becoming more popular as time goes on; some people even use it for wedding bands and wedding rings instead of the traditional gold.

What if it’s starting to tarnish though? How can you polish your silver jewelry without a lot of hassle? Here’s an easy way to do it with some materials that you likely have around your home.

What You Will Need:

  • Warm water
  • Gentle dish detergent
  • Toothpaste (plain, white, no whitening)
  • Sponge or soft cloth
  1. If you wear pieces of silver jewelry a lot, you'll notice that it rarely tarnishes. For silver jewelry that you wear regularly, just wash it with some warm water and gentle dish detergent to keep it clean. Even if you are polishing your jewelry thoroughly, start with cleaning it in this manner.
  2. Use a soft cloth to rub your silver clean, and dry it quickly. Allow it to dry fully before you start to polish it.
  3. Apply the toothpaste directly to the surface of the silver and allow it to sit for two to three minutes.
  4. Take the soft, damp cloth or sponge and start to polish. Use circular motions to buff the silver. Reapply the toothpaste as necessary until you get a shine.
  5. Rinse the silver thoroughly with warm water and dry it well.

You will probably want to do this every couple of months for any silver jewelry that you may own. Because you’re using basic household items and it only takes about five minutes, you really don’t have an excuse not to do it. Keep your silver jewelry looking great by just using the power of toothpaste. 

How to Polish Silverware

Silverware (also known as household silver) isn’t pure silver, as you may know, but it does have silver plating. As time goes on, it will tarnish. So, what can you do in order to polish your silverware? Here’s an easy way to get that tarnish out and get your silverware shining again.

What you will need:

  • Glass baking dish
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hot water
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Soft towel
  1. Take your glass baking dish (or another glass container that will fit your silverware) and line the entire bottom of the dish with the aluminum foil.
  2. Fill the container with steaming hot water; the hotter, the better. Add salt and baking soda to the mixture; the amount doesn’t matter, just add a little of each to the mix and allow it to dissolve into the water.
  3. Place your silverware into the containers so they’re touching each other and the foil. The tarnish will start to disappear if you stay and watch it. You can leave tarnished items in there for as long as 5 minutes without any problems. Heavily tarnished items may need that amount of time to get rid of the tarnish.
  4. Rinse the silver dry.
  5. Take the soft towel and buff the silver dry.

If the first round doesn’t eliminate all of the tarnish, then give it about 24 hours and then repeat the process all over again. This is so you don’t damage the silver by leaving it in the solution too long. Also, it’s important to note that you can do this with other silver items as well, not just silverware; even your silver jewelry (as long as there is no etching) can go into this mix and become tarnish-free.