General ramblings

Make Do and Mend Silver Polish…

May 20, 2013

I have a pair of silver earrings that I wear pretty much everyday, and in the way of silver things, they get pretty tarnished.

Now, we are not in possession of a vast amount of silver…and even if we were, given the state of the rest of the house, I am pretty sure that polishing the silver would not make it onto the weekly chores list. So we don’t actually have our own pot of silver polish.
In the past, I have ‘borrowed’ a little smidge from my mother-in-law, but I keep forgetting, so I want to have something I can use at home, and I don’t want to go and buy a whole pot of silver polish.

At the Waste Watcher’s Green Clean event earlier on this year, I was introduced to the delights of making your own, by basically whizzing up a banana skin with some bicarbonate of soda.
This worked surprisingly well, and I think would be good to do if I was cleaning lots of silver, but I’m not, and I really can’t be bothered to get the whizzer all mucky just for one tiny pair of earrings.

So…. I read somewhere-I think in this book

Ketchup earrings21

that you can use tomato ketchup to clean tarnished silver, and I decided to give it a go. And I can exclusively reveal…..

That it doesn’t work 🙁

Here is the before….

Ketchup earrings1

Here is the during…

Ketchup earrings2

And here is the after…

Ketchup earrings3

No discernible difference except they now have the faint whiff of tomato ketchup.

I am starting to think that maybe the people who wrote the book were having a bit of laugh.
Maybe I should try out some of the other tips too in some kind of (un)scientific experiment to see if any of them actually work or if it’s just one enormous hoax…

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  • Reply Annie Brig June 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Try the Ecology Polishing Pads, they are an all natural and highly effective silver polish cloth that works wonders!

    • Reply Jen June 4, 2013 at 8:07 am

      Hi Annie
      Thanks for the suggestion. My blog is all about not buying anything new and trying to find alternative solutions, so buying these would kind of defeat the point!

  • Reply Make Do and Mend Silver Polish-Take 2… | My Make Do and Mend Year May 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    […] the rather disappointing outcome of Make Do and Mend Silver Polish-Take 1-Tomato Ketchup, I am embarking on Take […]

  • Reply Katrina Shaw May 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    As long as what you want to clean is real silver (NOT silver plated as this would totally ruin it!) you can clean it by placing it in a bowl of fairly hot water lined with scrunched up cooking foil. It’s basically a chemical reaction that transfers the tarnish from the silver to the foil. Works like a dream 🙂

    • Reply Jen May 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Great, thankyou!

  • Reply Anna May 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    We read about lining a small dish with tin foil, adding some bicarbonate of soda and your silver item, then pour on boiling water. We tried it and it was amazing, the silver gleamed and the whole thing was fizzy and exciting. We had to run round the house searching for more small silver items to experiment with. I recommend it !

    • Reply Jen May 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Definitely trying this-lots of people have recommended it!

      • Reply Anna May 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm

        Whoops was in such a hurry to recommend it, I didn’t read the other comments. Blush.

        • Reply Jen May 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

          It just goes to show what a great method it must be 🙂

  • Reply Naomi May 21, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I third the foil idea because I use it all the time. All you need is an old ice cream tub, put some foil at the bottom, pour in hot but not boiling water and add bicarbonate of soda/washing soda. Just add a bit, don’t worry too much about measurements! It will bubble and fizz and it is essentially a chemical reaction so do it outside or in a well ventiliated area because you don’t want to breathe it in or your kids. Also don’t forget to use rubber gloves. The tarnish from the silver attracts itself to the foil somehow, don’t ask me how. I’m no scientist! You then leave it for a while to do its magic, then voila they should be clean! Just give them a bit of a rub with an old cloth to buff them up. It works every time! Good Luck!

    • Reply Jen May 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Fantastic-thankyou!

  • Reply Jo May 21, 2013 at 2:39 am

    I second the foil idea. We did it as a science experiment in high school. Have no memory of the scientific explanation, but was impressed with the results!

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) May 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I usually find that simply wearing silver jewelery cleans it up but as I don’t have pierced ears I don’t have any earings, It works well for rings & necklaces. Just try rubbing them with you fingers on a regular basis for a day or so & see if it works !

    • Reply Jen May 20, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      The no cost silver clean!
      I feel a scientific experiment coming on. May need more silver to test out all the theories though..!

  • Reply Hilary May 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Jen, have sent you email with 2 ideas for cleaning silver, hope one works for you. Well done trying to find an alternative way to clean them.

    • Reply Jen May 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Thanks Hilary 🙂

  • Reply Victoria Coombes May 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I am surprised that Warminster’s queen of greenness has not heard of this excellent system – To clean silver pour boiling water onto some foil – milk bottle tops will do – and add some washing soda. It all starts to bubble and you just put the silver into the solution and it will come out all clean and shiny!

    • Reply Jen May 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      That sounds fab! I will try this one too 🙂

  • Reply saraband May 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I read somewhere that you can clean silver with toothpaste. Just rub on with a clean cloth, leave it to dry and rub off. Worth a try!

    • Reply Jen May 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      Someone on Twitter has just suggested that too-thankyou!

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