Holidays, or any other special occasion for that matter, bring with them long list of preparations. And if you decide that your silverware will make an appearance, cleaning and polishing the silver is automatically added to that list. Salt shakers, candlesticks, cutlery...the list is long and you may feel tired just thinking about it.

There are a lot of polishes and cleaning solutions available in the market to shine and clean your silver. However, most of these products contain harmful chemicals. Any mistaken residue lingering on your silverware used at the dinner table surely wouldn’t be good for anyone’s health.


Silver is one of the most versatile ornamental metals. Its sheen adds to the elegance of any item made from silver.

Although depending on various usage conditions, silver can tarnish easily. But there are ways to clean your silver other than using polishes that cost a fortune. You can clean your silver with ease using basic household ingredients that don’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Here are two secret methods that you can use to clean silver using untold secret techniques at home.

Method 1: Clean silver using salt, toothpaste and lemon juice

Things you’ll need:


method 1 things need

  • Salt –½ cup (or less depending on how much silverware you are cleaning)
  • Toothpaste –approximately 3 tablespoons
  • Lemon – 1½ (1, if large)
  • Silverware to clean
  • Small glass or ceramic bowl
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • Old toothbrush
  • Towel or paper towels

Step 1.Put salt in a bowl

Put salt in a bowl

Measure ½ cup of salt and put it in a glass or ceramic bowl. You can use less, depending on the size or quantity of the silverware you intend to clean.

Step 2. Squeeze in the lemon juice

Squeeze in the lemon juice

Squeeze the juice from 1½ lemons into the bowl. If your lemons are large in size, you can use just 1.

Step 3. Mix into a paste

Mix into a paste


Mix the contents of the bowl into a thick paste. Add more lemon juice if needed to make the paste.

Keep in mind the quantity and size of the silverware to be cleaned. Determine the quantity of your paste accordingly.

Step 4. Add the toothpaste

Add the toothpaste

Next, squeeze about 3 tablespoons of toothpaste into the bowl. Make sure to whisk it in well, so you have a paste with an even consistency.


Step 5. Apply paste on silver using toothbrush

Apply paste on silver using toothbrush

Dip an old toothbrush (with soft bristles) into the cleaning paste and apply it on the silver. Gently scrub in circles and avoid applying too much pressure.

Step 6. Scrub thoroughly until it shines

Scrub thoroughly till it shines

You might start noticing the tarnish coming off. Keep at it until you’ve covered the entire surface thoroughly. Be gentle, as you don’t want to scratch the silver.

Step 7. Rinse the paste off

Rinse the paste off

Once you’ve meticulously cleaned the entire surface, rinse off the paste using water. Rinse thoroughly so as to get all the paste off your silverware.


Step 8. Dry the silverware

Dry the silverware

Now, use a regular towel or paper towel to dry and burnish your silver. Make sure to dry it thoroughly, as any moisture remaining on your silver will surely work toward another tarnish buildup.

Sparkling silverware

You will be pleased to see the new sheen of your silver. This method works with just toothpaste too, if you don’t have all the ingredients handy.

Method 2: Clean silver using vinegar, baking soda and salt

Things you’ll need:

Method 2 things need

  • Baking soda – 2 tablespoons
  • Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – 2 tablespoons
  • Silverware to clean
  • Glass bowl (large enough to soak your silverware)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hot water
  • Measuring spoons
  • Old toothbrush
  • Tongs
  • Paper towels

Step 1. Line the bowl with aluminum foil

Use a big glass bowl

Line the bowl with aluminum foil

Find a glass bowl that’s big enough to completely immerse your silverware in. Line the inner surface of the bowl completely with a sheet of aluminum foil.

Again, a glass bowl is preferred over a metal one. That’s because a metal bowl may get ruined due to corrosion.

Step 2. Fill bowl with hot water

Fill the bowl with hot water

Now, pour hot water in the aluminum-wrapped glass bowl. Fill the bowl enough to submerge your silver in it completely. Take care that the water doesn’t spill over when you put in your silverware.

Step 3. Immerse your silver in the water

Immerse your silver in water


Next, immerse your silver into the hot water. Exercise care while doing so, as you don’t want to sustain burns.

Step 4. Add baking soda to the bowl

Add baking soda to the bowl

Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the bowl. Baking soda acts as a catalyst in the reaction that will end in your shining silver.

You will notice small bubbles

Once you add baking soda to the bowl, you’ll notice bubbles coming up to the surface of the water.

Step 5. Add salt

Add salt

Next, add 2 tablespoons of salt to the bowl. Salt also works as a catalyst to speed up the reaction.

Step 6. Pour in vinegar

Pour in vinegar

Pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar into the bowl. You’ll immediately notice bubbles frothing up at the surface.

Step 7. Let it sit for a few minutes

Let it sit for a few minutes

Let the silver sit in the solution for a few minutes. During this time, the aluminum will work toward freeing the silver of corrosion. After about 10 minutes, you’ll notice your silver getting considerably shiny.

Step 8. Scrub using toothbrush, if needed

Scrub using toothbrush if needed

Should you feel the need, you can use an old toothbrush to gently scour the surface of the silver to bring it to a better shine.

Step 9. Lift it out using tongs

Lift it out using tongs

Make use of a pair of tongs to lift your silver out of the solution. Exercise caution to avoid sustaining any burns, as the water as well as your silver, are hot.

If you do not have tongs, use a kitchen towel for this purpose.

Step 10. Dry using paper towel

Dry using paper towel

Wipe thoroughly using paper towel

Sheen in your silverware

As you feel giddy looking at your silver with a new luster, do not forget to dry it meticulously using paper towels. Any trace of moisture left on the silver will give rise to another layer of tarnish that you’ll have to deal with.

Additional Tips:

  • Always use a glass or ceramic bowl for mixing the cleaning paste or soaking your silverware. A metal container is susceptible to corrosion.
  • Use regular white toothpaste instead of the multicolored ones or dental gels.
  • Utensils made of silver must not be put in the dishwasher. Avoid washing silverware with other utensils, as they can scratch the surface. Never, ever subject your precious silverware to steel wool scrubs.
  • Do not use these methods to clean your jewelry or coins.