Hello hello! Does anyone know of Do-It-Yourself methods to clean tarnished items?
Whoa, wait a moment! If you were about to give an answer to use actual silver polishes and products meant to remove the tarnish, please know that I am aware that these products are the best since common DIY methods can cause too much abrasion or have other side effects if used too frequently.
However, I have very few silver items and it would be a waste of product to keep it stored for the two times I would have used it.
The first time I tried to remove tarnish DIY style, was with the electrolysis method – water, aluminum foil, and baking soda. This solution worked rather well on my lightly tarnished locket that was in an almost completely sealed box. It took two “soaks” since I had to rearrange the foil to reach the folded areas. The only problem I had with this method was the smell that resulted from the chemical reactions.
Skip years forward to today and my second occurrence of needing a tarnish remover. I had unearthed a pair of chopsticks that were very tarnished. These are mementos of my mother’s attempt to use more stylish utensils. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that metal chopsticks are difficult tools when trying to eat noodles (almost as hard as eating with plastic ones). Before my mother donated the set, I decided to keep a pair as a reminder of why we use wooden chopsticks. I thought they were made of stainless steel, but the discoloring I saw proved otherwise. Wishing to set these out where I could admire them, I asked my mother if she had any cleaners that would help. Turns out, she used whitening toothpaste to clean her jewelry. Lo and behold! I tried with some Colgate Optic White toothpaste and the tarnished scrubbed off easily. The picture below shows the two chopsticks side by side, with one being cleaned and the other in its tarnished state.
Searching online showed numerous comments about how effective the toothpaste idea was and how it would slowly scrape away the silver. Since I merely wish to put these chopstick on display, I figure there would not be too much noticeable damage if I used this method until a new solution appears.
To those who discovered this post, how to do you remove tarnish?