As the holidays approach you may be inclined to pull out your silver family heirlooms for entertaining and display. But, after months of storage, they may need some touch-ups and cleaning before they are ready to shine for your friends and family. Here are some tips for cleaning your silver and brass serving sets without damaging surfaces or wearing yourself out.

Organic Methods

If you’re one of those people who prefers a more holistic way of life, then the idea of using caustic cleaners to clean family heirlooms or serving dishes from which your family will be eating may make you take pause. You can still have shiny beautiful silver without using hardcore cleaners. It just might take a little extra effort depending on how tarnished your items are. Here’s how:

  • Ketchup – This household favorite is an easy way to remove light to medium layers of tarnish. Simply dab a small amount on a paper towel and start polishing your silver’s surface. Circular motions work best. Then remove ketchup with a moist paper towel and dry. If stubborn areas remain, dab a little on the spot and let sit for 15 minutes before rubbing it in, then follow previous instructions.
  • Baking Soda – Create a past of ¼ cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons water and using a paper towel to polish tarnished surfaces in circular motions. Use a toothbrush for fine crevices and details. Rinse residue off and dry item with a microfiber
  • Corn Starch – As with baking soda, create a medium thick paste using cornstarch and water. For this, you want to use a rough fabric hand towel or cheesecloth to apply the paste. When done, rinse well and dry with a microfiber cloth. Cream of Tartar is an adequate substitute if you don’t have cornstarch readily available.

Science at its Best

If you would rather get your project done or just don’t have the time to be organic, there are some science motivated options that minimalize the use of caustic or harsh chemicals. Here’s how:

  • Aluminum Foil – Bring a liter of water, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and one sheet of aluminum foil to a full boil. Then submerge your tarnished silver in the boiling mixture for about 10 seconds and remove with tongs. Using a microfiber towel carefully dry silver completely.
  • Laundry Detergent – You’ll want your aluminum foil for this tip too. Line a bowl large enough to hold your silver items with aluminum foil. Fill it with very hot water and 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent, mix and submerge Let sit for 1 minute before rinsing off excess detergent and drying completely with a microfiber cloth.

Silver is one of those metals that can be passed down from generation to generation cherished as a family heirloom if it is properly cared for. Make sure to clean your valuable heirlooms at least annually and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Now that you know how to care for your silver, why not let us help you find a place to safely store your prized possessions? Call Browning Park Mini Storage today for assistance from one of our knowledgeable associates.