How to clean tarnished silver in 15 minutes

Old silver will shine like new

How can you clean sil­ver at home with­out us­ing poi­sonous chem­i­cals? We’ll show you!

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • bowl;
  • alu­minum foil;
  • bak­ing soda;
  • kitchen salt;
  • wa­ter;
  • sil­ver ob­ject.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Add two ta­ble­spoons of bak­ing soda and ta­ble salt to the bowl and pour warm wa­ter over it, so that they dis­solve well. Mix thor­ough­ly. Then place a piece of alu­minum foil in the so­lu­tion, with the sil­ver ob­ject wrapped in it. Wrap the ob­ject so that it makes max­i­mum con­tact with the foil. Af­ter 15-20 min­utes the sil­ver will look like new!

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

Over time, sil­ver ob­jects be­come cov­ered with a lay­er of sil­ver sul­fide, and thus lose their orig­i­nal shine. 4Ag+2H₂S+O₂=2Ag₂S+2H₂O How­ev­er, there is a sim­ple method to give sil­ver back its ini­tial beau­ty, where three “reagents” are re­quired, not count­ing wa­ter, which can be found in any kitchen – bak­ing soda, ta­ble salt and foil. When the sil­ver touch­es the foil, it forms a gal­van­ic pair, in which alu­minum as the more re­ac­tive met­al gives its elec­trons to sil­ver, in the com­pound of sil­ver sul­fide, thus re­duc­ing it to a metal­lic state. The salt crys­tals added are elec­trolytes which help the alu­minum elec­trons to reach the sil­ver ions more quick­ly.

3Ag₂S + 9NaH­CO₃ + 2Al = 3NaHS + 2Al(OH)₃ + 6Ag + 3Na₂­CO₃ + 6CO₂

6NaHS + 2Al(OH)₃ = Al₂S₃ + 3Na₂S + 6H₂O