I am not the fancy, heirloom silver type of girl. I blame it on Colorado. Colorado is in a bubble; not the mid-west or the southern living state, but not exactly Vegas. But, over the years, I inherited and adopted heirloom silver pieces from extended family members.
But thanks to Pinterest and Instagram I discoverd the charm of vintage silver. And, my southern blog friends assured me a little heirloom silver goes a long way in the decor. No matter where my house is geographically located. So with a hodgepodge of heirloom silver pieces But my many southern blogger friends assure me a little heirloom silver goes a long way in the decor. So with the hodgepodge of silver pieces I set out to find out how to clean heirloom silver.
Here is what I discovered when I searched how to clean heirloom pieces.
Many of my heirloom sterling pieces were tucked away in boxes and stored in the basement or the back of my hutch. Some of these pieces have traveled back and forth across state lines with temperature and humidty fluctuations.
My favorite piece, a sterling silver water pitcher from my grandmother had more tarnish than sparkle.
I read a few cleaning solutions before I took on this project. I read this method with aluminum foil. Other tutorials used toothpaste. Other tutorials used toothpaste. I went the route of the aluminum foil, because I did not have an extra tube of toothpaste and did not want to sacrifice my husband’s toothpaste. I decided to give it a try. My rationale was the aluminum foil method would not add more tarnish.
How to Clean Heirloom Silver
This how to tutorial requires a low boil of water. Once the water begins to boil, turn off the heat. Add the sterling piece(s). My sterling pitcher took up the entire pot. Tuck crumpled balls of aluminum foil around the sterling pieces. The aluminum foil acted as the cleaning agent.
This would be a great way to recycle used, but clean sheets of foil (like my mother has stored in her pantry). Add approximately a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the pot of water.
It was like a highschool chemistry lab in my kitchen.
The aluminum foil acted like a magnet and pulled the grime and oxidation buildup onto the foil. That concludes my knowledge of chemical reactions.
I love the results. As with any cleaning agent and process start with a smaller piece. I used a silver plated ice scoop as my test piece. And, then I just went all in with my sterling pitcher.
Please share other suggestions or techniques to clean silver pieces. I love the results. Now I may need to go find some (new) vintage sterling silver.