9 Aug 2013

cleaning some neglected silver plated items

I have a pair of silver plated salt and pepper shakers which I really like for sentimental reasons and the amusing family stories attached to them. I have had them now for several years, having found their way to me via various family members. I really do like them, but sadly neglected them at the back of a cupboard. Hopefully by doing this post about cleaning them, I can pretend I didn't actually neglect them but was embarking on a carefully planned project to demonstrate how to get rid of bad tarnish on silver plated items.

Of course you can use a polishing cloth - although a bit slow with such bad tarnish. You can also use silver cream polish. However, if you don't have that handy and you have some silver plated items either sat in storage for ages or simply rediscovered at the back of a box somewhere, then toothpaste will do the job. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, so will quickly and easily remove the worst of the tarnish with a bit of scrubbing with an old toothbrush.

So, to demonstrate:

1. Here is my as-part-of-this-project neglected salt and pepper shakers.
2. Put a dab of toothpaste on the object and have an old toothbrush (never again to be used on teeth, I say!) handy.

3. Scrub away on said object, adding toothpaste if necessary. You can already see after a couple of seconds it makes a difference:
4. Compare with other objects not yet clean. Feel smug.
5. Proceed in same manner with all remaining objects.
6. After drying, use a silver cloth to give the objects a vigorous final rub down. Take picture and sit back in awe. The whole process took about 10 minutes.
***disclaimer -- this is what I was told was useful to remove bad tarnish. Works for me, might not work for everything.

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