4 Ways to Clean Silver with Baking Soda


The gleam of sterling or silver-plated jewelry, flatware, and serving pieces is gorgeous, but exposure to air tarnishes silver over time. Instead of commercial silver polishes that contain harsh chemicals, polish silver with baking soda, water and aluminium foil for a fast and easy way to restore the shine.


Method #1: Use a Baking Soda Paste to Polish Silver

A paste of baking soda and water is all you need to clean larger silver items and remove the dull tarnish. You’ll need to rub the paste over the items, but the baking soda does most of the work for you without heavy scrubbing – and no toxic ingredients.



  1. In a small bowl, combine half a box of baking soda with water. Stir to form a paste that is not runny but is thoroughly wet.
  2. Dip the clean sponge or cloth into the paste and rub it onto the dirty silver items.
  3. Wait about 30 seconds for lightly soiled items and leave the paste on for up to 10 minutes for more heavily tarnished silver.
  4. Thoroughly rinse the silver with cool water.
  5. Dry well and buff lightly with a soft cloth for even more gleam.

Be sure to get any baking soda out of any nooks and crannies in the design, especially around the edges and feet or finials of silver serving sets.

How to clean and polish silver with Arm and Hammer Baking Soda

Method #2: Clean Silver in Baking Soda, Hot Water & Aluminum Foil

This method for cleaning silver with baking soda, hot water and aluminum foil works best for smaller items, such as flatware, napkin rings, or silver jewelry. The tarnish disappears as if by magic due to an electrolytic reaction which transfer the oxidized tarnish from the silver to the aluminum foil.

There’s typically no residue remaining on items after you rinse and dry them, but buffing with a clean dry cloth gets the silver extra shiny.



  1. Line a large glass or metal baking dish with aluminum foil, making sure the shiny side is facing up. A disposable aluminum foil lasagna or turkey pan will also work.
  2. Place the dirty silver items into the foil-lined tray. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water on the stove or 2 cups of water in the microwave.
  3. Pour the hot water into the tray, completely covering the dirty silver items.
  4. Add two heaping tablespoons of baking soda to the water (or 1 cup of baking soda to 1 gallon of water) until it begins to bubble. For best results sprinkle the baking soda evenly across the pan.
  5. Let the silver items soak in the baking soda and water for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the silver pieces from the tray and rinse well. Making sure to remove any baking soda from the crevices of the silver items.
  7. Dry well and buff with a soft cloth for extra shine.

How to clean silver jewlery in baking soda, hot water and aluminum foil

Method #3: Boil Silver in Baking Soda, Salt & Foil

Some people might remember this magic trick from science class. Dirty silver goes into a foil-lined pot with baking soda, salt, and water, and as the water boils, the silver gets clean and the aluminum foil gets tarnished – right before your eyes.

You can do this same procedure at home to clean your silver before a dinner party or special occasion. It only takes a few minutes to restore the shine and banish the oxidization.


  • A large pot or deep pan, lined with aluminum foil, shiny side up.
  • ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda Shaker
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • Water (enough to cover the silver items in the pan)
  • Large baking dish lined with aluminum foil or an aluminum baking tray


  1. Line the pot or pan bottom with aluminum foil.
  2. Add silver pieces you wish to clean to the pot.
  3. Add 2-3 inches of water to the pan, enough to completely cover the items.
  4. Add 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil.
  5. Boil for about four minutes. Watch as the aluminum foil becomes tarnished and the items lose the black spots of oxidation.
  6. Remove silver items with tongs.
  7. Rinse each item well with clean water.
  8. Dry and lightly buff silver items with a soft cloth.

How to boil silver in baking soda, salt and aluminum foil

Method #4: Wrap Large Silver Items in Aluminum Foil & Soak

This method works the same way as method #2, but is great for heavily soiled items or large silver items such as trays or coffee pots that you need to submerge in a larger container.



  1. Wrap each tarnished silver item in aluminum foil. Completely cover the entire surface and put the shiny surface toward the silver item (dull side out).
  2. Place foil-wrapped items into the bucket, tub or pot.
  3. Heat enough water to completely cover the foil-wrapped items.
  4. Carefully pour the hot water over the items in the tub and add 1 cup of baking soda per gallon of water.
  5. Allow items to soak for up to 30 minutes, depending on how heavily tarnished.
  6. Let water cool down or remove items with tongs.
  7. Unwrap items and be amazed at how the tarnish is gone!
  8. Dry items and buff lightly with a clean, soft cloth,

The best part about cleaning silver with baking soda is that it works to remove the tarnish without scratches, abrasion, or even heavy scrubbing! Plus, baking soda is made of a natural mineral, with no fumes or toxins like commercial polish. You can feel good about using a more eco-conscious method to clean your silver jewelry, flatware, goblets, or serving pieces.

How to wrap large silver items in aluminum foil & soak

Use Baking Soda to Clean More than Silver in Your Home

You can use baking soda to clean and deodorize throughout your home. For more cleaning tips and tricks with baking soda check out the below:

Tips to freshen things up

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