Easy Silver Polishing

Easy Silver Polishing CreatingThisLife.comI love silver, but I hate polishing it.

Can I get an amen?

So in the spirit of silver sisterhood (no offense to any silver-loving brothers who might be reading; the alliteration just isn’t as good ;)), I want to share with you the silver polishing shortcut that I use.

It’s a set and forget type of silver polishing.

It’s like the Crockpot of silver polishing.

These pictures are of one my favorite silver pieces ever: a champagne bucket that I found for $10 at an estate sale.

In the garage of all places.

The men were out there picking through rakes and half-full bags of fertilizer and I was like “Excuse me. Pardon me. I’m just trying to get to that dusty silver thing over there on that shelf.”

My (very) limited silver knowledge told me that this piece was probably silverplated, and that was fine for my purposes.

I’m not a collector; I just like pretty things.

Silver Polishing Before at CreatingThisLife.com

But sometimes pretty things need little makeovers. And that’s where the silver polishing shortcut comes in.

Here’s what you need:

  • A plastic tub
  • Aluminum foil
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water

And here are the steps:

Line the tub with a layer of aluminum foil and cover the bottom with baking soda. (If your sink isn’t a metal sink of some sort, you can do this right in the sink. Mine is stainless, so I use a tub.)

Silver Polishing with Baking Soda at CreatingThisLife.com

Place the silver item in the tub and add super hot water. Boiling even.

If you’re using this method for multiple pieces of silver at the same time – say silverware – just make sure that a part of each piece of silver is touching the aluminum foil in some way.

Silver Polishing Steps at CreatingThisLife.com

Let the item(s) sit until the water cools. While this is happening, you can go on with your fabulous life.

When you come back, you will see that tarnish has transferred from the silver to the aluminum foil. Very cool! Shouldn’t this be taught in science classes or something?

Silver Polishing Shortcut at CreatingThisLife.com

This particular piece clearly hadn’t been cleaned or polished in a long time, so I repeated the baking soda/boiling water process several times.

Silver Polishing After at CreatingThisLife.com

The result was much improved, and I could have called it good, but in this case I finished it off with a little bit of silver polish to give it a bit more shine. That went quickly because the hard work had already been done.

Silver Polishing Shortcut

One of the things I love about a silver champagne bucket/urn/trophy cup is that it can be used for so many different things.

There’s champagne, of course. Or wine.

I originally used mine for little pots of flowers, like these mums.

easy silver polishing

And after our kitchen remodel, I put it to work as a utensil holder.

Kitchen Utensil Holder at CreatingThisLife.com

This is my favorite way to use it, since it takes ordinary things (wooden spoons, pizza cutters, kitchen shears) and fancies them up.

But it’s been nearly a year since I started using it this way and it was starting to look like a quick spiffing up was in order.

Here’s a before pic:

Easy Silver Polishing Before at CreatingThisLife.com

And another:

Silver Polishing Shortcut Before at CreatingThisLIfe.com

See? Still pretty, just looking a little neglected.

So I pulled out the aluminum foil and baking soda and soon had this.

Silver Utensil Holder at CreatingThisLife.com

A final little buff with a jewelry polishing cloth and she’s back at work.

Silver Kitchen Utensil Holder at CreatingThisLife.com

This post is part of Tweak It TuesdayTutorials, Tips, and TidbitsOne Project at a TimeNifty Thrifty Tuesday, Transformation Thursday, Show and Tell Friday , What’s It Wednesday, and Fabulously Frugal Thursday.

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  1. I’ve used this method to remove heavily tarnished silver-plate for years. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s a great shortcut, isn’t it Ann? Thanks for your comment.

  2. Thanks for the tip! Haven’t used this one before and I am in the process of cleaning spoons one at a time with silver polish. UGH!!

    1. Silverware is the worst, Linda. Hope the tip saves you some time.

  3. I have done that when I have a lot to clean. Thanks for the reminder, and love your new find!

    1. Thank you, Kathleen. Love your blog name!

  4. Love your blog. I have a question about the silver polish.
    How much water are we putting into the pan? Do we cover the entire item or just enough to cover the baking soda in it’s pan? if this works I am one happy lady. Will it harm the silver?

    1. Hi Debbie. Normally I would put in enough to cover the piece. That just wasn’t possible for a large piece like this one so I had to do both sides separately. This shouldn’t harm your silver, although I’m certainly no expert, so take that for what it’s worth. lol

  5. Hi Julie…I am a newcomer to your fabulous blog and I love it…although you live on the opposite end of the world, ( I live and work in Dubai) I find myself wishing I could be your neighbour!!
    This silver cleaning method is amazing and I have tried it on my silver teapot….it worked like a charm and I then did all my silver jewellery…why I ever sat cleaning it all by hand I have no clue! Thanks for sharing and thanks for allowing me a peek into your life…

    1. How wonderful to hear from someone a world away! Dubai sounds so exotic. My son, in particular, has a fascination with it. I’m so happy the silver polishing technique was a help to you. I look forward to having you as a reader and also checking out your blog. – Julie

  6. Ethel O'Neal Alderson says:

    OH! to find the silver to use the method!!!
    Give some hints on finding silver, what to look for.
    Cleaning would be a pleasure if I could find the goods.

    1. Ethel, I’m no silver expert by any stretch. I just choose things I like. I look for them at antique malls and stores, estate sales, etc.

  7. Nancy Jo Bechtold says:

    Hi! As a former Kansas Citian now living in Florida, your blog is like a note from a friend back home. I especially enjoyed Mary Carol’s lake home pics and pics of your finds in the west bottoms ! Keep up the great work and Thank You!

    1. What a lovely way to put it, Nancy. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. My parents are former Kansas Citians who just moved to FL full-time too.

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