Clean silver, gold or copper plated goods

Oct 3, 2018Uncategorized

We are often asked how to clean silver plated items (or how to clean chrome, etc) . Our silver cleaning recipe is environmentally friendly and effective, for silverware in reasonable condition. Items with very heavy tarnish, or with worn surfaces, may require another approach to bring them back to their full glory. Further below are a few tips on cleaning chrome plated items. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CLEANING RECIPE FOR SILVER Into a glass, aluminium or stainless steel bowl (eg, sink) place:

  • A sheet of aluminium foil
  • Hot water (the hotter the better – be sure to use rubber gloves!)
  • 1 heaped dessert spoon of washing soda per litre of water (Washing soda is available in the laundry section of your supermarket. Do not use Bicarbonate of Soda)
  • Place the tarnished silver item in the solution, ensuring contact with foil for several seconds. (Soak severely tarnished items for several minutes)
  • Remove from solution and gently wipe or rub clean with a soft cloth. Severely tarnished items which have been soaked may require heavy/firm wiping or a second soaking
  • This solution will only remove tarnish up to the water line, so larger items, that can not be immersed totally at one time, may need to be turned during the process. (Alternatively, it may be worthwhile filling your sink with solution deep enough to cover item/s – you’ll need to add more washing soda)

Note – the above is not recommended for items containing opals or “Britannia Metal” products (Britania metal is very similar to EPNS – if in doubt check with your metal finisher. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaning pastes as these will reduce the life of the plated surface and wear away the plating. However very severe tarnish may require it. Silver-ware that has had a lot of use may require re-silver plating. STORAGE HINTS (SILVERWARE)

  • After cleaning, give item a wipe over with a ‘silver cloth’ (available from supermarkets, jewelers or A Class). This will leave a protective film on the surface metal which helps reduce tarnishing time.
  • A few sea shells placed near to items in cupboard or storage will help absorb moisture that causes tarnish.


  • Rust and deterioration is most often caused by the presence of moisture and dirt or dust on the surface of the item.
  • Clean regularly with an appropriate, non-abrasive detergent. Rinse,then dry thoroughly. (Pay attention to dirt & moisture that may be trapped on the underside.)
  • Apply a wax based furniture type polish, then buff with a clean cloth until shiny. This will provide some surface protection against harmful moisture and will enhance shine.
  • Hardware and auto shops stock a range of chrome cleaning or polishing products. We supply some too.