People often struggle to maintain their silver plated products. Most silver cleaners on the market are too strong for something that is simply plated. If you have purchased one of our silver plated products we want to help you keep it shining like new for as long as possible. So, we thought we would share with you a few tips and tricks on just how to do that.
With age, as with any metal, silver and silver plated items can start to tarnish and lose their shine. Unfortunately, all silver will eventually need to be restored but there are a few things you can do to try and defy this ageing process. In our expert opinion, when cleaning silver items, do it naturally. Try to avoid expensive and unnecessary chemicals. It’s far cheaper and less time consuming to use products that you can find in your own home.
Things you will need
Should I be cleaning my silver?
Before you dive in to cleaning silver, ensure you know which type of silver you are working with. Is it solid or plated. If you have bought it from us then you will know but sometimes, with silver items, it can be difficult to see the difference. You also need to understand the age of the item, whether it is worth anything and do you intend to sell it any time soon. We often inherit silver and these are the items you should be checking with a local antiques dealer before attempting any type of cleaning or restoration. You can also check hallmarks online.
There are mixed reviews on whether restoration decreases or increases value or if cleaning silver is necessary at all. A dealer will be able to give you the best advice.
Shining like new
If you are ready to begin cleaning silver then you need to start by lining the bottom of your bucket or washing up bowl with aluminium foil. Make sure the shiny side is up and that the container is large enough to fit your silver item and for it to be covered with the water. The piece needs to be in contact with the aluminium foil for this process to work.
Mix 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of salt for every gallon of boiling water used and sprinkle on top of the foil. You will need to add enough boiling water to your bucket so the item can be immersed. It is wise to place your silver item in the bucket before the water. This avoids any risk of burns. Add the water gradually as the mixture will fizz when the hot water hits it.
Normally you will start to see the liquid cleaning silver immediately and the dullness beginning to disappear. However, some items are more tarnished than others and may need to be soaked for up to 30 minutes. You can take the silver out of the bucket (using tongs, remember this is boiling water) and wipe with a soft or microfibre cloth. If there is still some tarnishing present then you can replace the piece and leave for a further soak.
Point to note: Base metal can sometimes show through silver plating and therefore isn’t a tarnish you can remove. This is usually when an item is old and when you have been cleaning silver items for number of years previously.
Once you are satisfied that you have removed all the tarnish and grime, you need to rinse and dry the item. You need to remove any trace of the mixture from it, and also any water. If the piece isn’t dried properly it could cause it to tarnish again quickly
We hope this tutorial has helped you to know what to do when cleaning silver. However, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need further assistance.
If you feel we have left a important fact out or incorrect please let us know in the comments box below .. Thank you