Before I read about this trick, I had tried to clean our very old and tarnished silver serving spoons with marble-paste. It took a lot of time and elbow grease and barely had any effect. This method, I was delighted to witness, only takes a few seconds. Not only that but while marble-paste and a cloth actually remove the outer-most layer of tarnished silver (that’s why it takes so much effort) this trick is a chemical reaction which reverses the tarnishing process, so you don’t have to rub off any silver.


  1. A pyrex bowl, dish or cooking pot to hold boiling water.
  2. A role of aluminium foil.
  3. A kettle full of water.
  4. Bi-carbinate of soda or baking powder.
  5. A cleaning cloth and/or a silver cloth.


  1. Put the kettle on to boil.
  2. Tear or cut off enough aluminium foil to cover most of the inside of the bowl
  3. Lay the aluminium foil in the bowl so that the dull side faces up and the shiny side faces down. It doesn’t need to sit flat or cover all the pyrex.
  4. IMG_4957Place the silver items you wish to clean in the bowl. Make sure they are all touching the aluminium foil in some place.
  5. When the kettle is boiled, pour the hot water over the silver items until they are mostly covered.
  6. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of bi-carb soda around the bowl.
  7. Watch!
  8. Fish out the silver (with tongs or a spoon) and throw away the water, which should be milky, and the foil, which should have turned brown.
  9.  When the silver has cooled enough to touch, rub it dry with the cleaning cloth. This should help to bring up the shine and there will be some black on the cloth.
  10. For a final polish use a silver cloth, which should get rid of the remaining black.



N.B. If you’re using this method to clean silver jewellery, make sure that no soft jewels such as pearl, coral or opal go in as this may damage them. Hard jewels, especially rubies and sapphires, should be fine.



2 thoughts on “Quicksilver

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