Over the years, I inherited and/or adopted heirloom silver pieces, both silver and silver plated, from grandparents and in-laws. I admit I am not the fancy heirloom silver type of girl. I blame it on living in Colorado. We are more white plates and casual place settings. But my many southern blogger friends assure me a little heirloom silver goes a long way in the decor.
But some of my heirloom sterling pieces have been tucked away and shipped across the country and back. My favorite piece, a sterling silver water pitcher from my grandmother, had more tarnish than sparkle.
I read a few cleaning solutions before I took on this project and read about how aluminum foil works well as a cleaning agent. Other people had success with toothpaste. Has anyone tried toothpaste on sterling and/or plated silver pieces? Honestly, I just couldn’t get past removing the toothpaste from the bathroom.
I’m weird like that on some things.
how to clean
DETAILS | HOW TO CLEAN HEIRLOOM SILVER
I decided to give it a try thinking it wasn’t going to make the pitcher appear more tarnished. It requires a low boil or very hot pot of water. I recommend bring a pot of water to a boil and then turn off the heat. Add the sterling piece (the pitcher took up the entire pot) and tuck crumpled up balls of aluminum foil. This would be a great way to up-cycle those used but clean sheets of foil.
Add approximately a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the pot of water. This would be a great way to up-cycle those used but clean sheets of foil.
When I removed the aluminum foil I could see all the grime and oxidation buildup. The foil acted like a magnet and that concludes my knowledge of chemical reactions.
I love the results. As with any cleaning agent and process start with a smaller piece. I used an ice scoop as my test piece.