The holidays are probably the only time of year when your silver gets set out to see the light of day. That probably also means that your silver has not been cleaned since its last excursion onto the dinner table. Don't let polishing your silver become one more daunting task on your "to-do" list that never gets done this season.
Instead, try one of these alternative home-methods to polish silver that will make it easier for you to start and finish the job in the amount of time it usually takes for you to get to the store to buy polish.
1. Aluminum Foil, Baking Soda, and Vinegar Recipe
This may be one of the easiest methods out there. Place your silver into a disposable aluminum pan, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, a tablespoon of sea salt, and 1 cup of boiling water.
The boiling water will activate the baking soda which should clean off your silver in about 30 second. Quick and painless.
2. Banana Peels
Grind up some banana peels in water to make a yucky-looking but effective paste. Rub this paste on your silver to bring back its natural shine.
Note that this method works best on smaller, more delicate pieces rather than large silver platters.
Toothpaste is strong enough to remove the plaque on your teeth, so it should come as no surprise that it can remove the plaque on your silver.
Just scrub your silver with a toothpaste and a toothbrush like you would your teeth and watch the magic happen.
Yes, ketchup not only looks and tastes good, but it can clean your silver. Rub a small amount into your silver and let sit for 15 minutes.
When the timer is up, rub it off with a soft cloth under warm water. Who knew getting your shine on could be so simple?
Make a simple cornstarch and water paste to coat your silver. Once you have covered everything that needs polishing with a thin coat of this paste, wait for it to dry, and then rub it off with something mildly abrasive like a kitchen towel.
Your shine is guaranteed to be recaptured.
6. Lemon-Lime Soda
Soak your silver in some lemon-lime soda for about an hour. The bubbles and active ingredients will work while you are busy making other holiday preparations.
When you lift them out all you have to do is rinse them off and you're ready to go.
7. Lemon Juice and Salt
Lemon is a master house cleaner. It also turns out that it is good for polishing your silver.
If you mix lemon with salt, powdered milk, and water and let your silver soak in this solution overnight, it is sure to come out with a sparkle.
Once your silver has been polished, store it in a drawer with some chalk.
Chalk will absorb the moisture that would otherwise coat your silverware to prevent a tarnished layer from ever forming.
9. Hair Conditioner
This is also more of a method to preserve the finished shine than to actually clean tarnished silver.
Slather your shined silver with hair conditioner, and you will deter tarnish from building back up again next year.