How to clean silverware until it dazzles

Big occasions call for using the silverware – here's how to make them dazzle like your after-dinner speech

How To Clean Silver

Silverware can turn any regular dinner into a fancy soiree in seconds … if it’s sparkling, that is. Because it’s usually not something we use every day, silver cutlery can easily tarnish, leaving it looking dark, dull or brassy. Silver cleaning before special occasions doesn’t have to be a pain, though. All it takes is a couple of simple steps that the whole household can help out with.

So, what’s the best way to clean silver without using a smelly polish? This guide will take you through how to polish silver at home, all with ingredients you already have in your cupboard.

How to clean silver cutlery with foil

This easy way to clean silver requires next-to-no effort – just a boil of the kettle, a bit of mixing, and a bit of waiting. Here’s what you’ll need:

What you’ll need

  • Aluminium foil
  • Glass or aluminium baking dish
  • 240 ml boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 120 ml white vinegar
  • Plenty kitchen paper for polishing
  • Tongs (to avoid putting your fingers in boiling water)

If you’re using a glass baking dish, start by lining it with the aluminium foil. Put the water on to boil. While you wait, mix the salt and baking soda in the baking dish. Pour the vinegar over them – taking care, because it’s going to fizz – and then, once the fizzing has died down, put the silverware in, making sure each piece is touching the foil.

Now add the boiling water. Together, these ingredients will move the tarnish from your silverware to the foil. Let them act for up to 5 minutes, then use the tongs to lift your cutlery out. Once it’s cool enough to handle, buff away any spots using a piece of kitchen paper.


For the drying and buffing stage, enlist the help of a strong and absorbent kitchen paper, like Plenty Original, that will hold together through polishing.

How to clean silver with baking soda or toothpaste

If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, you can just use plain baking soda for your silver cleaning. Sprinkle plenty of it over the cutlery, covering everything, and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. Once you’re sure the tarnish is gone, give them a final buff with a piece of kitchen paper.

You can also make a paste of baking soda and water or use a tube of normal white toothpaste. Use a piece of kitchen paper to rub the paste evenly all over the cutlery. Buff it away with some clean Plenty kitchen towel, then rinse and dry your silver carefully. There – good as new!

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