Alternative Ways to Clean Silver

Chris Anzalone

Many jewelry stores, department stores and other retailers sell bottles of silver polish in multiple varieties. You can clean and polish your silver at home, though, using numerous solutions that you probably already have in your cabinets. Most of these solutions can restore the shine to your silver just as well or even better than commercial silver-cleaning products.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can restore the shine to your silver.

Add 2 tbsp. of water to 1/4 cup of baking soda to create a thick paste. Apply the baking soda solution to a sponge and scrub the surface of your silver until the natural shine returns. Rinse the silver with warm water and dry.


Mix 1/2 cup of ammonia with 1 cup of warm water. Place small silver objects such as utensils, coins and jewelry into the liquid solution and allow them to soak for 10 minutes. Remove objects and dry them with a soft cloth.


Though not traditionally used as a cleaning product, household ketchup can help to brighten your tarnished silver, according to Reader's Digest. Squeeze some ketchup into a bowl and coat the entire surface of your silver. Use a toothbrush or cloth to buff the ketchup into the silver, and allow the ketchup to set for approximately five to 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and dry.

Table Salt

Sprinkle moist table salt along the surface of your silver coins and other objects. After the salt dries, your silver will appear brighter, according to Metal Detecting World.

Carbonated Soda

Drop your silver into a cup or bowl filled with regular cola, Such as Coke Classic, Pepsi Cola or Shasta Cola. Soak your silver for approximately one hour, then rinse and dry.

Aluminum Foil

Line the bottom of a large plastic basin (such as a plastic bucket) with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Place your silver objects directly on top of the foil and add 1/4 cup of washing soda and 1 gallon of boiling water. Allow your silver to soak for 15 minutes and remove using rubber gloves. Rinse and dry. Good Housekeeping recommends that you not perform this method if your silver contains non-silver parts, such as plastic handles or beads.


Place silver objects into 1/2 cup of white vinegar for two to three hours. For even better results, add 2 tbsp. of baking soda to your vinegar.