How to Clean Silver Objects With Chemistry

Do you have tarnished silver jewelry or tableware sitting in your cupboard waiting for the day you get around to hauling out the silver polish? Do you dread the toxic smell and hassle of using silver polish? Now you can avoid the trouble with an astounding chemical reaction using simple ingredients you have in your home. Your silver objects will shine so brightly you will never want to put them back in the cupboard again.

You will want to start by gathering your supplies, including all your tarnished silver objects, a bowl large enough to fit the largest object, aluminum foil, baking soda, salt and boiling water. Line your bowl with a layer of foil wrap and add a tablespoon each of soda and salt. Pour in the boiling water and add your tarnished silver object. This is where the magic of chemistry happens. You have created an electrochemical reaction that reverses the oxidization reaction that caused your silver to become tarnished in the first place. Wait a few minutes and when you remove your object from the water you will be surprised to see how it gleams and shines without any rubbing or polishing required.

There are a number of advantages to this method of cleaning silver over traditional silver polish. Most obvious is the avoidance of the use of smelly, toxic chemicals which are better for your health and the environment. This technique also allows you to reach small crevices in your silver that would be difficult to reach with a cloth. And of course it is a cheaper and easier way to clean your silver as you likely already have all of the supplies in your house.

Wondering how your silver became tarnished in the first place? Oxidation is the result of moisture in the environment. Pop a couple of moisture-absorbent packets (found in medication bottles and shoe boxes) in your cupboard or jewelry box to prevent oxidization of your newly shined silver.

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