The Best Way to Polish & Clean Silver: 4 Home Remedy Methods Put to the Test

The Best Way to Polish & Clean Silver: 4 Home Remedy Methods Put to the Test

Ashley Poskin
May 12, 2018

The table's set with fresh cut flowers, punchy cloth napkins and a place for every person — you wouldn't want some tarnished silverware ruining that gorgeous tablescape, would you? Because if you're busting out the silver, it must be a special occasion.

To suss out the best way to clean and polish silver, we set out to test four different all-natural, chemical-free methods for getting your silverware sparkling clean. After testing banana peels, ketchup, toothpaste and aluminum foil we are ready to crown our victor.

First up, the methods: Click through for each of the how-to/tutorial details of each of the natural home remedies we tested...

While every method worked (to be honest, ketchup barely made the cut) the combo of aluminum foil and baking soda (plus a few other key ingredients) was our clear winner. It takes hardly any time at all, is a little like magic and can tackle some really heavily tarnished pieces.

What You Need


  • Aluminum foil
  • Glass dish or aluminum baking dish
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • Rag for polishing


  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot on the stove. (When combined with the other ingredients, the water will activate the baking soda and start the process of transferring the tarnish to the aluminum.)
  2. Inside an aluminum dish or a glass dish lined with aluminum foil, add the baking soda and sea salt.
  3. Slowly pour in the vinegar and boiling water to your dish. You will cause a slight reaction, so pour carefully! It is possible to clean your silver without adding vinegar, but the vinegar will dramatically speed up the process.
  4. Place the silver into your dish, making sure each piece is touching the aluminum surface. (Try not to let any of the pieces overlap.) This should only take about 30 seconds but if you have heavily tarnished pieces you may need to let them soak a few minutes longer.
  5. Use tongs to remove the silverware and work off any remaining spots by buffing with a rag. Then, look deep into your shiny silver and admire the smartypants that brought it back to its original glory!

More great tips and tutorials: Apartment Therapy Cleaning Basics

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