Removing Stains On Silverware?


How do you remove stains on silverware?

Tony from Philadelphia, PA


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October 10, 20080 found this helpful

It would be helpful to know what kind of silverware and what kind of stains?

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October 11, 20080 found this helpful

Try using cream of tartar & lemon juice, scrubbing with a plastic scouring pad.

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By Gina (Guest Post)
October 11, 20080 found this helpful

If you mean the oxidation or brownish stains from being exposed to the air, rubbing alcohol, or lemon juice will work or silver polish if you want the expense but the other two work

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October 11, 20080 found this helpful

Toothpaste, NOT THE GEL KIND, regular old white toothpaste. Works like a charm.

Rub silverware gently with a small amount of toothpaste on a damp cloth. Rinse with warm water. Buff with a clean soft cloth. It is that simple. And it is very inexpensive.


If you buy a tube of toothpaste for that purpose, it will last you a life time. I think it might cost you 75cents at the most for a tube. :0)

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
October 12, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Tony,

Haven't heard a post back about what kind of silverware you're trying to remove stains from so here's the breakdown for regular silverware and for true silver silverware:

Regular silverware:

Usually those stains are water spots and can easily be removed with lemon juice or isopropal alcohol and even just re-wetting and hand towel drying. If it's a mild rust stain, most certainly can be easily and safely removed with cream of tartar and a lemon juice mixture with a plastic scrubber and even with a dab of comet and water mixture and a plastic scrubber.


True silver silverware (Or any type of true silver like a platter, dish, etc) is another story:

Regular toothpaste will work but only if you use it on a regular basis. You could spend hours cleaning and buffing if it's good and true silver that you store for special occasions and the tarnish has built up. I rarely entertain anymore so sometimes I am only cleaning the tarnish (my grama's collection to be passed down to future generations) twice a year for a special occasion so the tarnish can get quite bad in even the best storage situations so I use silver polish at those times and, even though a bit expensive, it does a far better and easier job than toothpaste and the silver polish will last for a couple of years at least as long as stored properly.


If your silver pieces are of any value to you (sentimentally or monetarily) you will want to be careful not to scrub with anything other than a soft cloth and non-abrasive (comet or similar would be abrasive) paste otherwise it causes wearing damage/scratches and devaluation of the piece. Isopropal alcohol or lemon juice will not work to remove 'tarnish'. I've tried it. But I have not tried the cream of tartar and lemon juice paste on my grama's silver so that would be a safe and worthwhile thing to at least try before purchasing silver polish :-)

Good luck :-) Let us know what worked for you on whichever type of silverware you're asking about ;-)

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By tony (Guest Post)
October 13, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for all the tips. I tried the toothpaste and it worked fine.

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