How To Clean Your Silver At Home With Home Remedies (6 Simple Methods)

When cleaning silver at home its important to first consider a few things before you jump in.

Depending on the method you choose from the following article you may significantly devalue the silver item or cause irreversible damage by overcleaning.

Collectors of historic silver items generally would prefer them to be in their found state and not cleaned.

Sometimes it’s the tarnish and dirt that makes the item more desirable and charming. The last thing you want to do is over polish and clean away that charm.

These home remedies for cleaning silver should be used only if you are 100% sure you aren’t going to damage or devalue the silver items.

All of the following methods are effective with some being more effective at actually cleaning the silver, while some methods are more for a polish.

You should have most of the ingredients for the home remedies in your pantry or kitchen cupboards!

Cleaning Silver With Foil & Baking Soda

What you will need:

Aluminium foil
Plastic Container or Glass Dish
Baking Soda
Hot Water from a kettle
Soft Cloth


  1. Take your container and line the bottom of it with the aluminium foil.
  2. Boil the kettle and fill the container with hot water.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda (use salt if you haven’t got baking soda)
  4. Take the item of silver you want to clean and add it to the container. (ensuring the silver is touching the foil) if you are cleaning more than one item of silver make sure they aren’t touching each other.
  5. To ensure maximum results take some tongues and turn the silver items to ensure each surface of the silver item has contact with the foil.
  6. Soak the silver items in the water for at least 3 minutes on each side, leave them in longer if they are really dirty or tarnished.
  7. Once cleaned remove the silver items from the water and pat dry with the soft cloth. Try not to rub.

Cleaning Silver With Tomato Ketchup

What you will need:

Tomato Ketchup
Soft Cloth

Ok I have included this one as many people swear by Tomato Ketchup for cleaning silver.

Let me just clear something up, this method only works slightly and only works at all because ketchup contains vinegar, also known as acetic acid.  There is no other magic ingredient and is what we call “an old wives tale”

You would yield better results from using vinegar or even lemon juice.

However if you’ve not got vinegar handy and only some ketchup then you can give it a try it may work.


  1. Take your tomato ketchup and apply to the silver using a cloth.
  2. Rub gently over tarnished or dirty areas.
  3. Leave to work for 20 minutes if the areas are not coming clean by rubbing gently.
  4. Rinse your silver item thoroughly and pat dry.

Cleaning Silver With Toothpaste

What you will need:

Soft Cloth

A very inexpensive method that you can try right away providing you have toothpaste, I sincerely hope you have!

Toothpaste works more as a silver polished opposed to a cleaner and will add a nice shine to your silver items.


  1. Submerge the silver item in water.
  2. Take a pea size amount of the toothpaste from the tube, about as much as you would use for cleaning your teeth and apply to your silver.
  3. Take your soft cloth and work the toothpaste into the silver, softly and slowly ensuring the silver item stays wet. (apply water if needed)
  4. Keep working the toothpaste into the silver until it changes to almost black in color.
  5. Leave the toothpaste to work for a few minutes.
  6. Wash the silver item in water ensuring you get rid of all the toothpaste.
  7. Now buff dry and polish with the soft cloth.
  8. If you didn’t achieve the results you wanted then you can repeat the process again.

Cleaning Silver With Detergent & Foil

This method works on the same principles as a method I have previously discussed in my cleaning silver coins at home post.

To be honest using baking soda has always worked better for me opposed to detergent.

What you will need:

Aluminium Foil
A dish or container (big enough for your silver items)
Laundry Detergent
Soft Cloth


  1. Line the bottom of the container with your aluminium foil.
  2. Fill the container with hot water.
  3. Add a small amount of laundry detergent.
  4. Place your silver items in the container ensuring they are submerged and in contact with the foil.
  5. Turn your silver items every couple of minutes to ensure each surface touches the foil.
  6. Soak for at least 20 minutes, more if your items are heavily soiled or tarnished.
  7. Remove your silver items and dry with your soft cloth.

Cleaning Silver With Distilled Vinegar & Baking Soda

As you are using distilled vinegar which is an acid, please remember not to use on antique silver or family heirlooms. This method is perfect for jewellery and cutlery etc

What you will need:

Container large enough for silver items
White distilled vinegar
Baking Soda
Soft Cloth


  1. Place your silver item in the container.
  2. Cover the silver item with white distilled vinegar ensuring the item is fully submerged.
  3. Add baking soda, you can approximate the right amount by using 4 tablespoons of baking soda per 1 cup of distilled vinegar.
  4. Leave the silver items in the solution for at least 1 hour (more if they are heavily soiled)
  5. Remove the silver item from the solution and rinse under water.
  6. Pat dry with a soft cloth.
  7. If desired results are not reached repeat the process.


Cleaning Silver With Lemon Juice & Baking Soda

Lemon juice as you’re probably aware is acidic therefore has great cleaning properties, which is why you’re seeing lemon used more frequently these days in household cleaning products.

This method for cleaning silver will show you how to use the cleaning properties of the lemon juice when combining them with baking soda.

It’s especially good for silver that has suffered oxidation!

What you will need:

Small Container or Pot
Lemon Juice
Baking Soda
Soft cloth


  1. Take your small pot or container and create a paste using the lemon juice and baking soda.
  2. The mixture should consist of 4 parts lemon juice to 1 part baking soda.
  3. Ensure you make enough paste for your silver items.
  4. With your soft cloth, dip it in the paste and work gently into the silver.
  5. When you have covered your silver item leave the solution to work for 10 minutes.
  6. Take your silver item and rinse thoroughly under water ensuring all of the solution has been removed.
  7. With a clean cloth pat your silver item dry.


As mentioned previously all of these silver cleaning home methods are effective, some more than others and each has been tried and tested by people all over the world.

In my honest opinion I’ve had some great results from using some of the methods above, but none have ever matched either taking the item to a professional jeweller or using Wrights Silver Cream. I’m a massive fan.

Remember also guys that you should never clean silver items at home if they are valuable, have sentimental value or if they are of historical importance. You risk damaging your silver items beyond repair. Always opt for a professional silver cleaning service.

If you’ve got some more handy silver cleaning methods why not leave them in the comments below for other readers to explore.



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