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It's easy to clean silver using aluminum foil and cleaning agents you have in the house.
Total Time: 15 minutes max
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Does anyone have the formula for foil paper and borax used to clean real silver? I need to clean some sugar bowls for craft projects, but cannot remember the formula.
I used to clean with foil until someone on this site said that you could ruin silver this way. Since then, I use a silver polish.
In reply to the poster who worried that this might ruin your silver, I believe there may be some truth to that, although for your purposes, it is not likely a concern. I googled this, and it says that in this chemical process the silver sulphide (the tarnish) is replaced with pure silver and the sulphide joins to the aluminum to make aluminum sulphide, so if your pieces are heavily tarnished, you might see a brownish tinge on your aluminum foil. The silver piece might have a slightly rougher surface (only visible with a magnifying glass) and will not be sterling silver, but will be pure silver.
Anyway, line a glass bowl with foil and place the pieces inside, touching the foil, but not each other. Boil enough water to cover the pieces, and add 1 tsp to 1/4 cup of borax. Pour the water over, and let sit till cool. Drain off water, and buff silver with a soft cloth. You can also do the same thing using baking soda and salt, 2 tsp of each. If the silver is heavily stained, you may have to do it twice.
I used this once on my silver souvenir spoons, and it worked well.