Eco Silver Polishing

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Introduction: Eco Silver Polishing

A quick and easy way to polish oxidized silver jewelry and other stuff without using toxic* chemicals.

This technique is especially good if you have intricate filigreed jewelry for example.

*or at least they don't SMELL toxic. Are they?

Step 1: Put Baking Soda and Foil in Water

I put about 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a piece of foil about 4" square or so.

Boil it until the silver starts to look silver.

(Unfortunately this doesn't clean my burnt up old pot) ;)

Step 2: Voila

I don't use precise measurements but it seems to work every time within a couple of minutes!

(The black part on the leaves in the jewelry shown here is intended to be black. You can see the rest came out silver.)

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@thesilversmith, I have a silver plated piece, almost mint, but looks like previous owner may have gotten water into it, or left water after a washing.... May be a bit pitted, any way to clean this up?

I've been thinking about using one of those aluminum pans for roasting. I think one should be able to de-tarnish a silver plate coffee service in one of those. A silver plate tray too.

I was just wondering if anyone has tried doing this with an aluminum soft drink can. No foil just the can, sodium bicarbonate and boiling water? Does anyone know if the inside of these cans are coated in any way? If it would work it would sure make cleanup simple. Just pour out remainder of liquid and toss the can into the recycling bin.

Just asked my husband what he thinks of the soda can idea and he said you might not want to do that b/c of the coloring and whatnot they use on can labels.

Since posting my remark I have tried using cut up pieces of aluminum soft drink cans. They didn't work very efficiently. I think there is probaly some sort of coating on the insides of the cans that inhibit the desired reaction.

Aluminum cans often have a thin plastic coating applied to the inside. Those that don't will develop a dull thin coating of aluminum oxide. In either case, not good for aluminum based chemistry.

I've not tried this Instructable yet, but I imagine that the soda can idea might work. I was also thinking that using an aluminum pie plate would work as well. That's what I plan on doing. I'll let y'all know how it goes. :D

I found an old aluminum tumbler that was not in shape to sell and used it. It did work but I don't know how long it would continue to without cleaning of some sort.

I'm a professional silver restoration and conservationist. This process, known as electrochemical (Galvanic) Reduction, uses aluminum foil or an aluminum/ aluminum alloy plate and a warm solution of sodium carbonate (washing soda). When the object comes into contact with the plate in the solution, it removes only light tarnish, not the thick, black tarnish produced by years of neglect. Pitting of the object can occur if the aluminum plate is not periodically cleaned. Another not-so-obvious problem is scratching of the object when in contact with the plate.

Objects cleaned by this method may tarnish more quickly than silver that has been polished, for the object's surface will act like a sponge and more readily absorb tarnish-producing gases and moisture. The solution can also seep into hollow areas such as coffeepot handles, unsoldered spun beads around the tops of lightweight holloware, weighted pieces with minute holes, and any porous attachments. For these reasons, this cleaning technique is not recommended.

Visit my Web site for additional silver care information: http://www.hermansilver.com.

kaytracy: is this with the baking soda & water, or is it just foil (and water?). Sorry to be dense.