Mend and Make Do: Clean your silver without chemicals


Do you have a pile of silver jewellery that you no longer wear because it is too tarnished? Perhaps you are like me and you have a bunch of jewellery that you would like to donate or sell, but you don’t want to do so until you’ve cleaned it. The good news is that you can clean tarnished sliver cheaply and easily at home without the need for chemicals or special equipment.

All you need is:

  • A saucepan
  • Boiling water
  • Bicarb soda
  • A piece of aluminium foil (you can even save an old piece for reuse (that is reasonably clean) to be even more eco-friendly. I save the foil from my Fair-trade chocolate packaging for this purpose)
  • An old toothbrush
  • Silver jewellery for cleaning

Silver jewellery for cleaning

Step 1: Place the sheet of aluminium foil in the bottom of the saucepan, forming it into a slight bowl shape to hold the jewellery.

Silver Cleaning Step 1

Step 2: Place the jewellery on top of the aluminium foil.

Silver Cleaning Step 2

Step 3: Pour a generous amount of bicarb soda over the jewellery (about a quarter to half a cup depending on how much jewellery you are cleaning). Pour over boiling water, ensuring that there is enough water to cover the jewellery completely. Place on the stove on a low heat to keep the water hot but not simmering. The bicarb will react with the foil and begin to bubble. You will notice the black tarnish will rise to the surface (as pictured below). Let sit for about 10 minutes. You can add more bicarb soda during this time if you feel it needs it.

Silver Cleaning Step 3

Step 4: After 10 minutes drain your saucepan (don’t lose your jewellery down the drain though!). You can gently clean any stubborn tarnish off with an old toothbrush. Dry your jewellery with a soft cloth and it will come up beautifully, just like the ones pictured below:

Silver Clean

Enjoy your lovely clean jewellery! Do you have any chemical free cleaning tips you want to share? Leave your thoughts below


If you love what you are reading, get weekly updates by email

* indicates required

Email Format