How To Remove Tarnish From Silver Without Losing Any Silver?

Silver is luxurious and cultured to have. The items sculptured through it are elegant, beautiful and exotic. Silver is too soft as a metal to work with and always requires plating as a procedure over other metals. Mostly the choice of metal it’s mixed with is copper. Copper is used as an alloy in a ratio of 7.5% to 92.5% of sterling silver.

In 1742  in England, the "Sheffield Plate" was developed in title of silver-plating. Later in days, it got replaced by EPNS, or electroplated silver in the mid 1800s. This process used less silver compared to the others. 

Other metals like gold can also be used as an alloy for mixing with silver, and inlaid with materials like wood, gems or ivory. For engraving or shaping silver, methods like casting, turning or hammering can be handy.

The presence of hallmarks underneath the pure silver gift you just purchased will help you recognise the purity of items along with a surety of buying a sterling silver or silver-plated gift.

As we discussed above, about how soft silver is in its pure form, and the need of mixing it with alloys for creating a durable item after procedures like hammering, now we’ll be highlighting the ways to keep silver away from tarnishing. 

Tarnish is…

A corrosion process also called black silver sulphide, appears like a gradual discoloration happening from yellow to pink to brown, to dark grey and then to black. The silver loses its shine after getting tarnished. If there are traces of copper alloy in silver it can change the tarnish colour to green.

Things that cause silver to tarnish are:-

  1. Presence of certain gases. 
  2. Certain specific materials.
  3. High humid temperatures.
  4. Various oils, metal polishes, and dust.
  5. Presence of Hydrogen Sulphide in the atmosphere coming in contact with your pure silver gifts.
  6. Some wooden cabinets and wood storage spaces.

Caring for Silver daily

On a daily basis, a proper maintenance of your silver items is essential to keep it clean and shiny. Use warm water mixed with a few drops of mild soap or dishwashing liquid, gently massage the item and wash it in a circular motion. Use a soft cloth to soak dry your silver item and air dry to prevent it from excess tarnishing.

Clean Tarnished Silver Naturally

Let’s check on some trusted DIYs to restore your tarnished silver gift items back to being shiny without losing on Silver.

Things you’ll require:

  1. Soft Cloth
  2. Pot or Pan {depending on the length of your item}
  3. Kosher Salt
  4. Baking Soda
  5. Boiling Water
  6. Aluminum Foil

Cleaning Small Pure Silver Gift Items

Follow these steps to get rid of the tarnished silver.

  1. Cover the entire surface with aluminium foil of your roasting pan. 
  2. Till the brim, fill your pan with boiling hot water.
  3. Now add in 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt and 1/4 cup of baking soda. Wait till you see bubbles arising above.
  4. Mix everything well. Now with attention and slight pressure, place your pure silver gift items in water. Make sure to place your pure silver items in such a way that they don’t collide with each other during the process.
  5. Let it soak and wait for another 5 minutes. Once cold enough to touch, remove it from the water and grab the soft cloth for drying it to the fullest.

Cleaning Large Pure Silver Gift Items

For cleaning, pure silver gift items large in size prefer using a large surface like a sink for hassle-free cleaning.

  1. Cover the entire sink including the edges with the aluminium foil.
  2. Pour boiling hot water enough for immersing the large silver item like bowl, dining set or plates to the fullest.
  3. Add 1 cup of each baking soda and kosher salt. Keep stirring the liquid until everything is mixed properly.
  4. Place the large pure silver items in the prepared water. Keep them soaking in for about 30 minutes or so.
  5. Remove the Silver items after the wait is over. Grab a soft cloth and dry it out gently.

Now, you’re all set to display your pure silver items out of the boxes and over the shelves. You’ll experience no more tarnish on any of your items and will cherish the shine left behind after this process. The best part of the whole process is you won’t lose any of your silver into the water. Follow this simple routine once a while to remove any tarnish from your pure silver gift items.

Methylated Spirits for Cleaning Tarnish on Composite Silver

For composite silver, prefer not to soak it in water as it is sensitive and can cause discoloration or even deterioration. You can use cotton swabs dipped in methylated spirit to  remove tarnish from silver. Clean dry using a silver impregnated cloth.

Silver Foam for Cleaning Heavy Tarnish Stains

Follow these steps to remove heavy tarnish stains.

  1. Dampen a soft cloth.
  2. Dip the cloth in Silver Foam, containing fine abrasives, chemicals and mild soap.
  3. Gently rub the silver foam on the surface where the silver is tarnished using soft cloth.
  4. If you want to apply Silver Foam to small areas, you can do so by using a soft brush. Shorten the bristles to make a stiffer brush. To avoid scratching during the process, put a masking tape around the steel collar of the soft brush. 
  5. Remove the residue using the soft brush. The tarnish softens after applying methylated spirits and a satay stick. Finish the process by drying using a clean cloth.
As precious are the pure silver gifts for you, the same effort of proper maintenance is required from you.