March 1, 2019

Cleaning Silver at the Farm

It’s always so satisfying to check off time-consuming cleaning chores.

Recently, my housekeepers took on the task of cleaning and polishing some of the silver at the farm - well ahead of any spring entertaining. There are several ways to clean silver. One nontoxic method is to fill an aluminum pan with hot water, salt and baking soda, stir until it is all dissolved, and then soak the pieces until a chemical reaction occurs that removes the tarnish. This technique is faster than hand cleaning, but may cause pitting and remove the more desirable tarnish called patina. Experts recommend using a good-quality, non-abrasive commercial silver polish. Silver cleaning cloths made especially for removing tarnish from precious metals are also available.

Here are photos from our process. And remember, there are more tips on storing and maintaining silver in my new book, "The Martha Manual: How to Do (Almost) Everything" - it's in bookstores right now.