Polishing silverware help !

Since retirement have been delegated 'head silverware cleaner' and am desperately seeking a GOOD silver cleaner because the ones so far have been given to use are hopeless and there just has to be a really good and simple one to apply and use easily somewhere - can anyone help me PLEASE ?
(If this is the wrong site please advise where I should be posting this plea !)


  • Alison_B
    Alison_B Posts: 2,124
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    What kind of pieces are you talking about? I sell silver and use the silver cleaner from Argos which is a liquid and find it very good. I have also been told that if you line a container with tin foil and add soda crystals to hot water, that is supposed to work just as well as any cleaner but you have to immerse the items into the water.
  • Omega_1
    Omega_1 Posts: 233
    First Post First Anniversary
    Silver trays, tea-pot, trophies, napkin rings,tankards etc etc - you name it we seem to have it !
  • Omega_1
    Omega_1 Posts: 233
    First Post First Anniversary
    Following up another tip of using 'a dollop of Ketchup ' I took an old and unused silver backed hair brush and comb that was well tarnished from many years of neglect and tried this method - to my surprise it did make an excellent job of removing most of the tarnish to an acceptable level !
  • ciggarette ash rubbed on it,
  • mommame
    mommame Posts: 279 Forumite
    I second the tin foil one.
    Line a large jug/deep container with tinfoil shiny side showing, put what ever you want to clean inside the container 4 tablespoons of bicarb and a cup of vinegar then as it is fizzing fill up with the boiling water to the level you need.

    when the first lot is done replace the tinfoil and pour the liquid into something else and heat in micro pour back into the tinfoil one and add a few more spoons of both vinegar and bicarb.
    Keep doing until all your silver is done.
    What I do is use an old coffee jar and recycle my bicarb and vinegar from cleaning jobs around the house and give it a blast in mocro and clean all my cutlery etc.
  • Grebe
    Grebe Posts: 5,107
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have used the tin foil, hot water and soda crystals myself and it works well however it should only be used on solid silver, never ever on silver plate etcetera.
    "To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill" Sun Tzu
  • I've tried a few comercial cleaners before, but I found soda crystals much easier to use and dirt cheap to boot!
  • Omega_1
    Omega_1 Posts: 233
    First Post First Anniversary
    Thanks everyone for your advice(s) but I suspect that amongst the items requiring cleaning there just has to be some silver plate amongst them and dare not take the risk. Am always open to personal suggestions of the best 'branded' cleaners available in the market though - maybe I should try and persuade 'Which' to do a feature ? !
  • Horace
    Horace Posts: 14,426 Forumite
    You could use a silver polishing cloth and I know you can use that on silver plate and solid silver. Goddards is a branded liquid silver polish that works well too..you need to polish off with a duster though...remember not to rub too hard as you will rub the hallmarks off.
  • lawnordersue
    lawnordersue Posts: 6 Forumite
    edited 11 April 2010 at 8:35AM
    OK, whoever said you shouldn't use the foil/boiling water/washing soda (NOT BICARB!! and you don't need vinegar either) on silver plate is wrong. My father in law is a jeweller and this is the ONLY way he cleans silver plate. Why? Because silver plate has only a finite amount of actual silver. When you polish silver plate with silver polish, you're actually removing a tiny amount of the silver plate as well. Over time you end up with 'bald spots' where you've polished harder in some spots than others. With the foil etc method described above, you're NOT doing that - you're almost kind of replating it. What you get is beautiful, clean silver plate.

    Yes, you can use this method to clean real silver as well - it works just as good but Plate or Real, you must completely immerse the item you want to clean. Leave for a couple of minutes in the solution and then rinse thoroughly. Dry with a clean, lint free (I use a linen tea towel) cloth and there you go.

    (Ladies - if you're trying this at home, remember to wear rubber gloves. Washing soda is hellish hard on your hands and nails. I cleaned my silver plate last week and forgot my gloves. All week long, I've had splitting nails and sore hands).

    I have a Viners canteen of silver plated cutlery. I've had it over 10 years now and I have always cleaned it using this method. I saw it once on television - one of those antiques restoration programmes - and was amazed. Talked it over with Dad and he confirmed that its what he does. I get beautiful, clean cutlery with no 'polish taint' and it even removes the tarnish that comes from me stupidly sticking it in the dishwasher the wrong way up!!

    Dad has made a lot of silver items over the years and yes, they do tarnish - its to do with them being exposed to chemicals in the atmosphere. He uses Jeweller's Rouge on a fast spinning wheel but he's still polishing them about every couple of months. Unless you're going to wrap them in cling film, you can't avoid it.

    The only other thing to add is that when you're done cleaning, THROW IT AWAY and start afresh next time. Why? Because for this to work properly, you need new foil (when you take the foil out at the end and have a look at it, you'll see that all the 'shiny side' has come off - its now on your silver plate ware) and you're not then introducing dirt from the last 'clean'. I know this is money saving but washing soda isn't expensive and you don't need more than two or three tablespoons full each time. For my cutlery, I use a large 'lasagne dish' with a piece of foil, shiny side up, covering the bottom. Add two tablespoons full of washing soda and cover with hot water. Drop in the items - MAKING SURE THEY ARE (A) COMPLETELY IMMERSED AND (B) IN CONTACT WITH THE SILVER FOIL - leave for a couple of minutes (I have to do this in batches) and then extract, rinse in cold water, dry and put away.

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our dark that most frightens us. :A
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