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How to Remove Stubborn Tarnish

Valued for its exquisite physical properties and durability, silver is an attractive metal favored around the world. Silver is commonly used for jewelry, cutlery, ornamental décor, coins and many other items. Although silver resists corrosion, it tarnishes when exposed to sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide.

Tarnished silver objects are visibly unattractive.

Things You Will Need

  • Soft sponge or cloth
  • Mildly abrasive silver polish
  • Terrycloth towel

Valued for its exquisite physical properties and durability, silver is an attractive metal favored around the world.  Silver is commonly used for jewelry, cutlery, ornamental décor, coins and many other items.

Although silver resists corrosion, it tarnishes when exposed to sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide.  Egg yolks, latex and salt also tarnish silver.

Tarnish begins as a yellowish tinge and gradually darkens until the silver blackens.  Neglecting to remove tarnish regularly allows it to accumulate and thus makes it harder to remove over time.

Remove stubborn tarnish from silver using basic supplies. 

  1. Rinse the tarnished silver object thoroughly with water. Flush off any loose dust or dirt. Do not dry the silver object.
  2. Moisten a soft sponge or cloth with water. Dip the moistened sponge or cloth into mildly abrasive silver polish.
  3. Rub the silver polish over the tarnished area using back-and-forth motions. Follow the polish manufacturer’s directions precisely. Always apply the polish using a clean section of the sponge or cloth to prevent reapplying tarnish to the silver.
  4. Continue rubbing polish onto the silver until no more tarnish remains on the object.
  5. Rinse the silver object thoroughly under warm running water until it is free of any polish residue.
  6. Buff the silver object with a terrycloth towel until the silver shines.
  7. Warning

    Never use polishes intended for stainless steel or chrome on silver. Never use toothpaste to polish silver. Never use scouring pads or steel wool on silver.

Things You Will Need

  • Soft sponge or cloth
  • Mildly abrasive silver polish
  • Terrycloth towel

Warnings

  • Never use polishes intended for stainless steel or chrome on silver.
  • Never use toothpaste to polish silver.
  • Never use scouring pads or steel wool on silver.

About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images