Stain Removal

How to Get Rid of Tarnish on Silver

Have you ever wondered why it’s possible for silver to be tarnished? Many chemical reactions take place between silver and substances that contain sulfur. When sulfur combines with silver, a compound called silver sulfide is formed. Silver sulfide is black, which is the main reason why your silver darkens and looks tarnished.

Silver’s Greatest Enemy

Why worry about getting rid of tarnish on your silverware if you can actually prevent it from happening? If you want your silverware to be always looking good as new, here are some tips you may want to employ:

  • Do not let rubber come into contact with your silverware. that you should keep awar from silver are rubber bands, silverware holders, placemates and dishmats, among many others. Rubber must be kept away from silver because it has sulfur and sulfur corrodes silver.
  • Stainless steel flatware should be kept away from silver-plated flatware or fine silver. The silver will surely be stained and damaged once it touches stainless steel. Washing these two different kinds of metals in one area is also dangerous for your silver.
  • Fine silver cannot be exposed to foods for a very long time. Do not leave mustard, mayonnaise or eggs on silver serving dishes for a long period of time because these foods contain sulfur that will corrode your silver serving dish.
  • Use your silverware regularly to prevent tarnish. Some people have the desire to only display their silverware on racks or keep them inside cabinets, using them only on special occasions. When silver is unused for a long time, tarnish builds up.

Get Rid of Tarnish on Silver

Dealing with the Surface –You can buy products available on the market these days, all of which are designed to remove the tarnish through polishing. In this method, a chemical reaction takes place. You can speed up the process by heating some water in order to let the silver sulfide return to its original silver state. With this, you can turn the silver sulfide into silver again without taking off any silver.

Reversing the Reactions — When you say “low ionization energy”, it automatically means that the energy required is lower when it comes to taking away the electrons from an atom. In this case, aluminum is compared to silver. Because of the low ionization energy of aluminum, the element is oxidized. When you say that an element is oxidized, it means that while its oxidation number increases, it loses some electrons. As a result, silver is reduced. When silver is reduced, it means that the oxidation number decreases, while electrons are gained.

Now, removing tarnish depends on how heavy the silver is tarnished. Through chemical reactions, the tarnishes on the silver will be transported to the aluminum in an instant.

Using Some Ingredients

You use these ingredients to help your cause: baking soda, boiling water, aluminum foil that you can use to cover the pan’s bottom, and a dish or a pan to immerse the silver.

The first thing you should do is to line the pan’s bottom with aluminum foil. If this is not possible, you can use a disposable aluminum pan. Next, the silver object must be placed above the aluminum to make sure it touches the silver. Then pour the boiling water into the dish or the pan and wait until the object is already covered completely. Lastly, add some baking soda.

You may wonder what happens after you have done all these. The baking soda does most of the work because as you use this, some of it may spill over or may froth a little. As this happens, you may notice the tarnish to disappear quickly. If your silver is badly tarnished, you may have to do the method again to make sure that all traces of tarnish are removed.

Here are a a few points to consider: First, adults should monitor and assist you when pouring the boiling water. Also, before you pour the water, you should put the dish or pan in a sink.

How to Clean Silver

Cleaning silver is important to maintain its quality, but only if you know how to clean it properly. After each use, make sure that you wash the silver immediately. The outer surface of the silver is called the “patina” and this is enhanced when you use friction through proper hand washing.

Handwashing silver properly is easy. Just fill the sink with water and wash your stuff with a mild dish detergent. Handwash each piece of silver individually. Lastly, dry the silver completely with a soft dish towel, preferably one that is made of cotton. If your silver is dull, you can buff it using a dry cotton cloth.

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About the author

Nicole Harding