8 answers

Best Way to Clean Silver

Hi. I am needing to clean a lot of silver bowls and utensils. What is the best way to do this? Also, the catch all pans on my stove are so black and covered in burnt on stuff. I have been lazy in wiping them out. What is the best way to clean these? Thanks so much for all your ideas!!!!!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

The old fashioned but very effective way to clean silver is with toothpaste. Really...it does work. As far as the catch all pans..I recommend just buying new ones. They're cheap and considering the time to clean those neglected ones, it's more realistic.

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Hi S.,
My grandmother has a full set of silver for the table and I usually polish it for holidays. We use traditional silver polish (Gorham brand) and a non-linty cotton cloth and running water to rinse. There really isn't an easy way to do it, but don't skimp on the polish and don't use a dirty part of the cloth. They sell silver cleaning plates that do cause some sort of reaction that makes them look less tarnished, but nothing beats hand polishing.
After this, the best way to keep it nice is to keep the flatware in a silver chest and the big pieces each in a flannel bag. The idea is to protect them from air. You can get these types of items on the internet.

The drip pans on the stove cost less than $2 each and can be bought at the grocery store. Don't bother scrubbing them. You can also put them in the dishwasher. In the future (I hate this but my hubby thinks its great) cover them with foil, especially if you know you are making something messy.

If you get a silver cleaner you can do an initial soak in the sink with some water before you polish it all.

As far as the catch all pans I would replace them for $5. You can get them at Walmart or any hardware store like Lowes. Don't waste the time trying to clean them...if you get new ones wrap them in alluminum foil then you don't have to clean as often or replace. :)

I don't know about silver, I don't have any. But to clean the stove bowl things, hubby sprayed Easy Off on them, left them in the sink to absorb the cleaner for an hour & pretty much wiped the funk off. Vinegar is cheap, & I pour straight vinegar into pans that get scorched-fill a sink w/the bowls & pour vinegar over them to cover, let them soak at least an hour (preferably overnight) & it should be easy to scrub them up.

From Haley's Cleaning Hints - Six-Second Silver Cleaning -
Run about a quart of hot water into your kitchen or bathroom sink (cool enough not to burn you). Dissolve 1 tbsp. water softener (or laundry washing soda) and 1 tbsp. salt, in the water. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the sink and place your tarnished silver on the foil (but do not use this method when silver has been antiqued). The silver that's both touching the foil and covered by the water shoudl become clean within 10 seconds. If the piece is badly tarnished, rub it with a soft cloth after removing it from the water.

This method works on silver and gold jewelry, too. But don't use it on jewelry that has been set with stones. It could loosen the settings and damage the stones.

For stove burner drip pans - add them to your next dishwasher cycle. For stubborn stains on drip-trays, place an ammonia-soaked cloth in it and leave it overnight. Wash off well with dish soap and water.


Are you talking about sterling and silverplate? You can start by getting a jar of standard silver cleaner at the supermarket or the hardware store. I'd avoid the really strong stuff (like TarnX) at first if I were you - just buy the regular cleaner. Follow the directions on the container. When silver gets dirty, it isn't dirt - it's tarnish; and tarnish eats away at the silver.

It's amazing how a little cleaning will usually bring out the best in silver - but if it doesn't work well enough, ask a reputable jeweler about the best thing to do next. With a valuable item, it is possible to re-silver, but it's expensive.

Silver tarnishes faster, I think, in winter months, because of the furnace running. Once you have your things clean, it doesn't take much time or effort to do a regular cleaning and polishing to keep them that way (it certainly doesn't take as long as a major overhaul!).

I soak my stove pans and then clean them with hot water and SOS pads. When they get really bad-looking no matter what I do, I replace them. You can get replacements for most stove pans at hardware stores. Be sure you get the right ones for your stove.

Hope this helps.

The old fashioned but very effective way to clean silver is with toothpaste. Really...it does work. As far as the catch all pans..I recommend just buying new ones. They're cheap and considering the time to clean those neglected ones, it's more realistic.

I just watched a podcast on this today because I need to clean some silver, too. It says that when you use polish, you take off a bit of silver every time. You can buy a special aluminum plate but they found that plain old aluminum foil worked well too. Place a piece of the foil in the bottom of a washing vessel(a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish is good for silverware) and fill with hot water and what looked like 1/4 cup of "washing soda"(whatever that is). The tarnish will lift off. I'm curious to see how this works, too. Now, off to Google Washing Soda!

Just recently polished a silver punch bowl with JUST baking soda and water.(make a paste out of it) IT requires a little elbow grease, but it worked like a charm! Cheap and easy and you can't hurt the silver.

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