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Can you clean silver without silver polish?

(16 Posts)
KatyMac Thu 04-Apr-13 20:38:36

It's probably not silver......maybe it's just stainless steel or metal; but it's a bit dull

floweryblue Thu 04-Apr-13 21:40:10

One of our silver jewellery suppliers suggested rinsing 'silver cleaner' dipped jewellery in a bicarb solution, it seems to work a treat.

Or, try a home made alcohol dip: shiny foil face up in the bottom of a pot with a bit of gin or vodka, then wash with washing up liquid and dry thoroughly before storing.

PigletJohn Thu 04-Apr-13 23:08:21

you really need to know what it's made of before deciding how to clean it.

Goddards and other silver cleaners chemically remove the tarnish from silver and silver plate, and leave an anti-tarnish film.

Other metal polishes work by an abrasive action. It won't matter on stainless, but it will wear away silver or other plating.

What is the thing you are polishing?

KatyMac Fri 05-Apr-13 07:56:35

It's a wide bangle (maybe 2 inches) - it wasn't expensive so I guess it's not silver; but it went that silver tarnish colour (iykwim)

DH sat there last night with a cloth & just rubbed & rubbed & it has come up really nicely

PigletJohn Fri 05-Apr-13 09:58:38

I expect it is silver plate then.

Look out for a tub of Goddards Silver Pad, it is a sort of pink soap that removes tarnish and gives a good and lasting polish. A tub will last for years.

John Lewis do an own-brand.

chimchar Fri 05-Apr-13 10:04:54

toothpaste works.

have used it on many solid silver things, but not on silver plate....not sure if it would damage it or not.

PigletJohn Fri 05-Apr-13 10:10:51

Toothpaste is mildly abrasive so it grinds away the tarnish and a layer of the surface.

Silver plate is very thin so wears away easily.

PigletJohn Fri 05-Apr-13 10:13:34

Interestingly (perhaps) butlers used to be taught, when polishing silver, to hold it with their thumb on the hallmark so it did not get worn away.

chimchar Sat 06-Apr-13 22:18:00

Oh shit! Thanks for that info piglet...I guess it's ok if it's an absolute emergency, but not for long term use!!!

catwithflowers Sun 07-Apr-13 09:47:17

Thanks piglet! I was just about to clean some lovely silver plate butter knives (ebay!!!!grin) with toothpaste but will resist now and get a proper cloth!!!!

Mix some bicarb into hot water, put in a bit of tinfoil and your silver and leave for a few minutes, depending how bad it is, then rinse and dry with a clean cloth.

PigletJohn Sun 07-Apr-13 11:18:38

The Goddards silver pad contains a chemical that breaks down the tarnish, so you don't need to rub much to polish it off.

I have used the aluminium foil method, and it does work well at chemically breaking down the tarnish as well, though it does leave a very white and slightly frosted surface, so I prefer the Goddards polish. You sponge it on in water like soap, and after rinsing, polish off with an old vest.

The foil method is useful for anything ornate where it is difficult to clean the crevices.

floweryblue Wed 10-Apr-13 23:28:10

If you are going to use a silver cloth, make sure it's a Town Talk one, by far the best and most long lasting in my experience.

Palmtree Thu 11-Apr-13 16:06:21

Cut a potato in half and rub the silver with the "innards" (iykwim) - works a treat, and then wipe clean with a paper towel.

zzzzz Fri 12-Apr-13 01:53:27

Ball of aluminium foil, boiling water, in a saucepan, drop in bangle, wait 5 mins and tahhhdahhhhh.

Only problem is sometimes too shiny IYKWIM.

floweryblue Fri 12-Apr-13 22:05:34

Cool tip with the potato, we'll give it a go.

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