How to Make Silver Polishing Dip

Get rid of tarnish with this easy at-home recipe

A pile of silver jewelry.

Jasmin Awad/EyeEm/Getty Images

As silver oxidizes, it tends to tarnish. This layer of oxidation can be removed without polishing and scrubbing by simply dipping your silver in this non-toxic electrochemical dip. Another big advantage to using a dip is that the liquid can reach places that a polishing cloth cannot. This is an easy experiment and takes mere minutes!

Silver Polish Ingredients

  • Sink or glass pan
  • Hot water
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tarnished silver

How to Remove Silver Tarnish

  1. Line the bottom of the sink or a glass baking dish with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  2. Fill the foil-lined container with steaming hot water.
  3. Add salt (sodium chloride) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to the water. Some recipes call for 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt, whereas others call for 2 tablespoons each of baking soda and salt. There's really no need to measure the amounts precisely—just use a spoonful or two of each substance.
  4. Drop the silver items into the container so that they are touching each other and resting on the foil. You'll be able to watch as the tarnish disappears.
  5. You can leave heavily tarnished items in the solution for as long as five minutes, but otherwise, remove the silver when it appears clean.
  6. Rinse the silver with water and gently buff it dry with a soft towel.
  7. Ideally, you should store your silver in a low-humidity environment. Placing a container of activated charcoal or a piece of chalk in the storage area will minimize future tarnish.

Tips for Success

  1. Use care when polishing or dipping silver plated items. It is easy to wear away the thin outer layer of silver and cause more harm than good through over-cleaning.
  2. Minimize exposing your silver to substances that contain sulfur (e.g., mayonnaise, eggs, mustard, onions, latex, and wool) because sulfur causes corrosion.
  3. Using your silver flatware/holloware often and wearing silver jewelry helps to keep them free of tarnish.
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Silver Polishing Dip." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 28). How to Make Silver Polishing Dip. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Silver Polishing Dip." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 2, 2023).