The holidays are a perfect time to bring out your silver (plate) trays. If they are like mine though, they look dingy from the accumulated tarnish. I pulled mine out last Saturday night for a party I was having on Sunday (I am a planner, and was going for another look and then got “inspired” at the last minute.) I had no silver polish and no time to scrub, so I pulled out an old trick I has used several years ago and let it work its magic while I worked on the food.
What you need:
- Sink, bucket or another container large enough to hold your serving pieces
- Extremely hot water (near boiling)
- Baking Soda
- Aluminum Foil
Steps to Shining SIlver:
- Line your sink or container with aluminum foil – shiny side up.
- Pour in extremely hot water.
- Add in one cup baking soda and 2-3 tablespoons of salt. (If your container is very large, you will want to add more of each.)
- Place silver plated items in water so that it is covered. If it’s a large piece such as a serving tray, you may have to rotate the piece and repeat the process on all sides.
- Let sit for at least 5 minutes and up to 30.
- Remove from water and rise item.
- Sprinkle baking soda and use a soft brush to get into crevices. Just before rinsing – add a few drops of water to make a paste to gently scrub last bits or tarnish.
- Rinse and hand dry immediately with a clean, soft towel.
You can even tell your kids it’s a science experiment and maybe they will help. (Fair warning – it smells like a science experiment.) The foil, soda and hot water produce a chemical reaction that removed the silver sulfide, or tarnish, from the silver item, and onto the foil. After cleaning several pieces, you will notice that the foil is dark with tarnish.
I soaked a few pieces at a time and then changed out the water solution and aluminum foil in between batches.
For more details, see this post from The Spruce.
My pieces still had a few dark spots, but looked entirely better than before and were perfectly fine to use. I may repeat the process soon when I am not in a time crunch.
Here are mine in use.
You still have time to shine up your silver for Hanukkah, Christmas or New Years!
Stay humble, work hard, be kind.