How To Polish Silver

Many years ago, Brock inherited his Grandma & Grandpa’s 1933 Rogers Bros. art deco-style silverware set. I love family heirlooms and since both of Brock’s grandparents have passed, it’s extra special to have something to carry on memories of them.

When I started pulling out the china on Saturday for our Sunday Dinner tablescape, I noticed the silverware box in the china cabinet. The thought crossed my mind to pull out the box and use the silver for our table-setting and dinner. Before even opening the flatware chest, I knew the pieces were tarnished.

The set is plated in real silver, so I wanted to take care while polishing the pieces.  Since I did not have a commercial tarnish remover product on hand, I did a quick internet search on how to polish silver.  With the instructions in hand, I went to work. Here’s what I did…

You will need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 package of baking soda
  • Tongs
  • 9×13 glass dish
  • Large pot
  • Water


  1. Fill the pot with about 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil on the stove-top.
  2. Meanwhile, line the bottom of the glass dish with aluminum foil. Make sure that the sides and bottom are covered with foil. Place the dish in the sink.
  3. Place silverware in the foil lined pan. Don’t crowd…lay them in one layer and make sure to not overlap the pieces. You want each piece to be touching the foil.
  4. Once the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Slowly add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water. The water will bubble up, so add it slowly. Carefully pour the mixture into the dish in the sink with the silverware.  You will soon notice that the tarnish is coming off the pieces. You may also notice a sulfur smell (smells like rotten eggs), this is as good thing!
  5. Let pieces set in water for 10 minutes. Use the tongs to remove each piece, rinse and hand dry each piece individually.
  6. If needed, remove any residual tarnish by making a thick paste with 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water. Apply the paste in a polishing manner with a lightly damp cloth. Rinse and then dry.  For heavily tarnished pieces you may need to repeat the steps from the beginning.


What an improvement! This set looks great with the platinum rim around our Johann Haviland Blue Garland china!

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