A few months ago, I shared a picture on Instagram of polishing silver without using harsh chemicals. There are several ways to do this, but my preferred method is with aluminum foil! With a sturdy sheet of foil and a few common household ingredients that are already in your pantry, you can concoct a silver cleaning solution that you feel good about using. There are no harsh chemicals used, which is good on two counts. First, you’re not using potentially toxic products and second, the all-natural aluminum foil method protects your precious silver pieces and no silver is lost in the cleaning process like it is with chemical silver polish. If you know me, you won’t be one bit surprised there’s a little Science involved! But don’t worry, even if you don’t love Science like I do, you can polish your silver the all-natural way. In fact, I learned this “secret” to beautiful silver from my dear old aunties many years ago and there wasn’t a scientist among them. ;-)
Cleaning Hack: Polish Silver with Glad™ Standard Aluminum Foil
First, here’s what you need to polish silver naturally with aluminum foil:
- A shallow glass baking dish that can accommodate your silver pieces and allow them to be submerged completely in the water you will add.
- A piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom of the dish – this is where you’ll fall in love with the easy to grab Glad® Ready Edge on the box and the pull up cutting edge – perfect cut every time!
- Very hot water to fill the baking dish almost completely (and to cover silver completely).
- Baking soda – you need about ½ cup per ½ gallon of water (adjust amount to suit the amount of water you use).
When you put your foil away, just click the Stay Closed lid shut and there’s no worries of your foil opening in the cabinet or drawer where you store it! Because of the box design, it’s ready for easy access use the next time you need it, too.
Now, here’s what you do:
1 – Place the glass baking dish on a heat-safe and secure surface like your kitchen counter (on a hot pad).
2 – Place the aluminum foil in the bottom of the dish.
3 – Place your silver items in the dish, laying them directly on the aluminum foil.
4 – Leave the dish while you heat the water to boiling. I heat my water in a kettle then pour it into a large heat-safe pitcher that I place in my sink because the water is hot and the next step could get a bit messy.
5 – Add the baking soda to the hot water. You may get some bubbling and foaming, which is why the sink is a great place to work with this step.
6 – Next, carefully pour the hot water/baking soda mixture over the silver in your glass dish. Pour slowly so that you don’t splatter yourself with hot water. Make sure the silver pieces are completely covered.
7 – Notice the black tarnish begin to disappear from your silver! You may even notice the water and aluminum foil turn a tarnished color.
Finally, my favorite part: How does this magic happen, anyway?
This simple, all-natural household cleaning hack works by way of simple chemistry. The tarnish, or dark coating, we see on silver when it has been sitting for a while unused is silver sulfide. It results from sulfur in the air reacting with the silver. Think of it as a similar reaction to how iron oxidizes and forms rust. To get our silver glimmering again, we need to remove that dark coating of silver sulfide. Traditional silver polish will strip off the silver sulfide, but it takes a thin layer of silver with it, too. With aluminum (in the form of foil), the chemical reaction that turned silver to silver sulfide is reversed and no silver is stripped away! Silver sulfide reacts with the aluminum (that’s why the silver pieces must touch the aluminum in the pan). The sulfur transfers to the aluminum (which is why you might notice the aluminum turns darker or appears to tarnish), leaving your silver like new!
The baking soda helps the electrons flow between the two metals and the hot water speeds up the reaction. And even if you’re not a chemistry buff like me, I bet you’re Glad you know this simple, all-natural silver cleaning hack! You can find Glad® Standard Aluminum Foil at the following retail locations: Albertsons, Food Lion, Hannaford, Lowe’s Food Stores, Brookshire, Meijer, Harris Teeter, Demoulas Market Basket, Futuro Foods and it’s the perfect time to grab a box or two for all your kitchen and household uses because right now you will find a $1 off coupon wherever Glad Foil is currently sold.
How do you polish your silverware? Tell me in the comments below for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/1/2016– 10/7/2016