before and after sterling silver polished

This easy homemade cleaner will make your silver like-new

Do you have silver jewelry, home items or silverware that’s tarnished? Let’s clean them with this simple homemade silver cleaner and make them shine like new!

Whenever I think of silver, I remember when I was little over at my friend’s house. I’d help her with one of her chores of polishing the family’s silverware and silver containers. But we used this thick, grayish goop-in-a-tub for a cleaner and applied a little bit at a time onto a towel, then rubbed in circles on the silver to polish. Didn’t they have baking soda back then? Because the following is a much easier way!

Silver loses its shine and gets tarnished quickly. But it’s also super easy to polish! Follow these simple steps to make homemade silver cleaner to make your silver jewelry and home goods shine like new.

before and after jewelry silver polish

before and after

Homemade silver cleaner

All you need is a bowl, aluminum foil, baking soda, and water! Have a clean, soft cloth ready too. 

  1. Cover a small bowl with Aluminum foil.
  2. Measure 3 tablespoons of Baking soda and add to bowl.
  3. Heat 1 cup of water in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the water to the aluminum foil covered bowl with baking soda. The baking soda and aluminum foil together create ion transfers (a chemical exchange) that naturally help clean the metal.
  5. Soak the jewelry for 15-20minutes.
  6. Remove and rub excess debris/tarnish with a soft cloth.
  7. Rinse in warm water.
  8. Dry with a soft cloth.
Silver earrings - left is cleaned, right is tarnished.

left is cleaned, right is tarnished.

Tips to keep your silver jewelry shining 

Avoid pools and hot tubs 

The chemicals used to kill bacteria in pools create a harsh environment for metal, and they’re even more concentrated in hot tubs.  

Keep products off jewelry

Perfume, hairspray, lotions…and worst of all, sunscreen!  Try to minimize these kinds of things ending up on your jewelry by putting your jewelry on last or taking it off for certain activities.  

Store it properly

  • Velvet bag – use this to keep your jewels protected from the sun and safe from scratches.
  • Store your jewels in a Ziploc bag – make sure you get rid of as much air as possible before sealing it. Air oxidizes the metal and causes it to tarnish quicker.
  • Get some 3M anti-tarnish strips. These super absorbent pieces of paper will basically suck away the culprits in the surrounding air that will cause your jewelry to tarnish. Stick one in your jewelry drawer, jewelry box or storage pouch. 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll probably like my How to Clean Gold Jewelry post too. And did you know I sell fine jewelry on my shop site? My goal is to help you shop the Los Angeles Wholesale Jewelry district from the comfort of your home, with the noise filtered out to present the best pieces I myself would want to own!

Enjoy this video showing the process of making your silver shine with the homemade silver cleaner.

Flavor your life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.