The non-toxic hack to polishing silver in just 10 seconds

The non-toxic hack to polishing silver in just 10 seconds

Posted by Holly Gardner on

Gone are the days of needing to spend hours using highly toxic chemicals to polish silver item by item. We have the easiest hack to cleaning silver in just 10 seconds - and it’s using non-toxic ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Bicarbonate of soda
  2. Aluminum foil
  3. Boiling water
  4. Bowl or container
  5. Soft cloth (microfiber)
  6. Silverware


  1. Make sure to use a bowl or container that is large enough to accommodate the silverware you plan to clean. Line your bowl or container with aluminum foil, ensuring that the shiny side is facing up. 
  2. Place your silverware on top of the aluminum foil, inside the container. 
  3. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda liberally over the tarnished silverware, ensuring that all parts are covered. Bicarbonate of soda acts as a cleaning agent and helps to remove the tarnish.
  4. Carefully pour boiling water over the silverware, ensuring that it covers the entire surface. The hot water will activate the chemical reaction between the bicarbonate of soda and the aluminum foil, aiding in the cleaning process.
  5. Allow the silverware to soak in the solution for a few minutes, giving the mixture time to work its magic. You may notice some fizzing and bubbling during this time, which is a normal part of the chemical reaction.
  6. After a few minutes, gently remove the silverware from the solution and rinse it thoroughly under running water. Make sure to remove all traces of the bicarbonate of soda.
  7. Dry the silverware using a soft cloth, being careful not to leave any water marks. If needed, you can use a polishing cloth specifically designed for silver to give it an extra shine.

Sterling silver cutlery


  • This method is best suited for solid silver or silver-plated items. It may not work as effectively on silver-coated or heavily oxidized items.
  • For heavily tarnished silverware, you may need to repeat this process multiple times or let it soak for longer periods to achieve the desired results.
  • If you have intricate or detailed pieces, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean hard-to-reach areas.
  • It's important to handle silverware with care to avoid leaving fingerprints or smudges. Use a soft cloth or gloves to protect the silverware during the cleaning process.

The science behind the hack:

Cleaning silver using bicarbonate of soda and aluminum foil removes the tarnish from silver and restores it to its original shine. The combination of bicarbonate of soda and aluminum foil removes tarnish from silverware through a chemical reaction that transfers the tarnish from the silver to the aluminum foil, thanks to the presence of hydrogen, sodium, and aluminum, and other chemical properties.


Polishing silver - before and after

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