Cleaning Silver with Aluminum Foil

piece of aluminum foil

Cleaning silver with aluminum foil is one of the easiest and cheapest methods to get your cherished pieces looking shiny and new.

Cleaning Silver with Aluminum Foil

Regardless of the type of silver pieces you own, whether it be jewelry, flatware, or service trays, proper cleaning will need to take place from time to time. While there are a number of different ways you can restore silver to its original shine, many people prefer cleaning silver with aluminum foil.

There are a few ways you clean silver using aluminum foil including:

Method #1

This method requires aluminum foil, baking soda, and salt. Get started by placing a sheet of standard aluminum foil, shiny side up, in the bottom of a pan. Next, add roughly three inches of water to the pan along with one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon salt. Mix the ingredients well and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add your silver pieces, making sure the liquid completely covers them. Allow the silver pieces to sit in the boiling mixture for about two to three minutes. Finally, remove the pieces from the pan, rinse with clean water, dry, and buff with a soft cloth.

Method #2

The first step is to wash your silverware or other large silver pieces in soapy water to remove any large piece of dust or debris. Next, line a large pan or pot with aluminum foil shiny side up, and add enough water to submerge the silver item you are cleaning. Depending on the size of the silver piece add one tablespoon or up to two cups of baking soda to the pan or pot. Place the pot on a burner and wait for the water to come to a rolling boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, remove the pan from the burner and submerge your silver pieces in the baking soda mixture, making sure the items come in direct contact with the aluminum foil. Allow the pieces to sit in the water for several minutes. During this time you should be able to see small yellow or black flakes being lifted from the silver. In addition, you may notice that the sheet of aluminum foil is turning black. This indicates that sulfur from the silver is being transferred to the foil. Once the silver pieces are clean remove them from the hot water with tongs and rinse them in cool clean water. Finally, dry the items with a soft clean cloth.

Ways to Protect Silver

After cleaning silver with aluminum foil you will want to store it in a safe place, so the results of your hard work are preserved for as long as possible. The best place to store silverware is in a chest lined with tarnish-resistant flannel or cotton. Another option is to place silver items in an air-tight plastic bag when not in use.

Silver has a number of enemies, which it should not come into contact with, including:

  • Rubber
  • Table salt
  • Olives
  • Salad dressing
  • Vinegar
  • Eggs
  • Juice
  • Anything with a high acid content

Finally, remember to handle silver with care as the precious metal nicks and scratches easily. Also, avoid using cleaners with harsh abrasives and never let food dry on silver. Doing so will promote corrosion and stains.

Cleaning Silver with Aluminum Foil