How to Make Silver Polishing Dip

A pile of silver jewelry.

Jasmin Awad/EyeEm/Getty Images

As silver oxidizes, it will 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 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. No need to measure the amounts — just add a bit of each substance.
  4. Drop the silver items into the container so they are touching each other and resting on the foil. You will be able to watch the tarnish disappear.
  5. Leave heavily tarnished items in the solution for as long as 5 minutes. 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. You can place a container of activated charcoal or a piece of chalk in the storage area to minimize future tarnish.

Tips for Success

  1. Use care when polishing or dipping silver plated items. It is easy to wear away the thin 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, wool) because the sulfur will cause corrosion.
  3. Using your silver flatware/holloware or wearing silver jewelry helps to keep it free from tarnish.