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How to clean tarnished silver

Read on to discover top tips and step-by-step guides for how to clean tarnished silver good as new.


how to clean tarnished silver: blue jewellery box with gold and silver jewellery

Key steps

To clean tarnished silver, try one of our five favourite methods using products from your home:

  • Soak silverware in hot water and powder detergent.
  • Use ketchup to rub away tarnish on silver.
  • Rub hand sanitiser into tarnished areas.
  • Polish the silver with toothpaste.
  • Use a vinegar and baking soda soak.

When it's clean and shining, silver brings brilliance to jewellery, tableware, and decorative objects but it is also known to tarnish easily. That’s why it makes it important to give your silverware a good clean and polish regularly. Read on to find our top step-by-step methods for cleaning tarnished silver and leaving it shining. For other quick and easy silver cleaning tips, click here.

When it comes to preventing silver from tarnishing, it is best to ensure you clean it with warm water and dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth after every use.

How do you know that the surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom have been disinfected?

How to remove tarnish from silver: Five easy home remedies to clean tarnished silver

Did you know that you don’t need any specialised products to get tarnished silver clean? There are a number of items you probably already have around your home which will do the trick. Here are five of our favourites.

1. Cleaning tarnished silver with laundry detergent

Everyone has good quality detergents like Persil at home. Simply follow these steps to use it for cleaning tarnished silver:

  • Use a medium-sized bowl.
  • Line your bowl with kitchen foil.
  • Fill the bowl with hot water.
  • Add one tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent.
  • Soak any tarnished silver in the mix for around one minute.
  • Rinse with clean water ensuring you remove all traces of detergent.
  • Leave to air-dry.

2. How to clean tarnished silver with ketchup

Do you like dipping your chips into tomato ketchup? Why not try using it to make sure you get your tarnished silver clean? Simply follow this guide:

  • Add a small drop of ketchup to a paper towel.
  • Rub the tarnished areas gently.
  • For more stubborn tarnish, allow the ketchup sit for 15 minutes.
  • Rub away the ketchup using a soft cloth.
  • Rinse thoroughly to clean away ketchup residue.

3. Removing silver tarnish with hand sanitiser

How many of us use hand sanitiser to fight germs on our hands? It is also a great method for removing silver tarnish.

  • Squirt a few drops of hand sanitiser onto a soft cloth.
  • Use the cloth to rub the tarnish away.

4. Using toothpaste to clean tarnished silver

Toothpaste doesn’t just clean your teeth. In just three easy steps it can have your silverware sparkling.

  • Use an old rag and a drop or two of toothpaste.
  • Polish your silverware.
  • Rinse to remove all traces of toothpaste.

5. Clean off silver tarnish with vinegar

Vinegar is a highly versatile ingredient which can be used for many things in your home from cooking to cleaning. When it comes to tarnished silver, it will also work a treat.

  • Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Place any tarnished silver into the mix to soak.
  • Leave it for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Rinse using cold water to remove any vinegar and baking soda.
  • Dry with a soft cloth.

With our top tips and simple step-by-step guide, you now have all the knowledge you need to understand how to clean tarnished silver and keep it looking its best in the future.


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Originally published