Three kitchen items and 5 minutes of your time make this recipe the easiest, cheapest, and most thorough way to clean silver.
This post came about because I wanted to try the ketchup brass cleaner on other metals.
Yeah, it was a fail.
Ketchup and baking soda did absolutely nothing to clean the tarnish off of my silver jewellery.
Let me show you what I started with:
My photos aren’t doing it justice, the three necklaces on the left in particular were quite tarnished – the pendants and the chains. The larger circle pendant necklace isn’t silver, but some kind of silver plate and the pendant and chain on the right are actually white gold. I wanted to see if the ketchup would clean any of them.
I slathered everything in ketchup and let it sit for about an hour.
When I saw that nothing had happened, I decided to try adding white vinegar and baking soda to see if it would clean anything:
It fizzed up and looked like it was working, but absolutely nothing came off of any of the pieces…. well, except the ketchup. lol
I’ve posted this in the past – and I still find it to be the easiest way to clean silver – is to use a bit of tin foil, vinegar and baking soda and heat it.
Line a fry pan with tin foil – dull side up seems to work best – then fill it with enough white vinegar to cover your silver pieces. (jewellery or otherwise).
Bring the vinegar to a rolling boil then sprinkle baking soda over top. It will immediately bubble up, but then fizzle back down.
Let your silver boil in the vinegar and baking soda solution for about 5 minutes.
It will clean every nook and cranny thoroughly – including the tiny little spaces in the chains.
Rinse with warm, soapy water and dry. That’s it!
While the tinfoil, baking soda and vinegar didn’t polish up any of my gold jewellery, it definitely removed any “scum” (skin cream, dead skin cells, soap residue etc) from them.
How does this work you ask?
The tarnish-removal method used in this experiment uses a chemical reaction to convert the silver sulfide back into silver. Many metals in addition to silver form compounds with sulfur. Some of them have a greater affinity for sulfur than silver does. Aluminum is such a metal. In this experiment, the silver sulfide reacts with aluminum. In the reaction, sulfur atoms are transferred from silver to aluminum, freeing the silver metal and forming aluminum sulfide. ~Wired.com
After: (Look! Every single crevice in the chain!!)
So forget the silver cleaner, and definitely don’t bother with the ketchup; 5 minutes, a few household supplies, and zero labour make this the easiest way to clean silver ever!
Have a great one!