How to: Polish Silver

Hi everyone! So one trend I've noticed more and more in the decor world is silver trays. I've seen them used in a lot of different ways, hung on the wall or on tables as centerpieces, or holders for succulents(which ya'll know I love!) So this week, I wanted to post a quick guide on how I removed the tarnish from the silver trays my mom gave me when I was home last week!

image via Pinterest | From  Jones Design Company

image via Pinterest | From Jones Design Company

Image via Pinterest | from  Country Living

Image via Pinterest | from Country Living

What You'll Need:

  • A Large Sink or Basin
  • A roll of Aluminum Foil
  • Hot water
  • Baking Soda
  • A Cloth or Clean Rag


  1. To begin, line sink or basin with aluminum foil, add a cup to a cup and a half of baking soda overtop the foil.
  2. Fill sink/basin with hot water
  3. Add in silver pieces

4. After 30 minutes in the hot water, remove the trays(carefully!) and rinse off the excess baking soda. 

5. Wipe down silver and set aside to dry.

6. You're done!! 30 minutes and you've got shiny new pieces :-)

Scroll down to see how mine turned out, as well as for my short and sweet discussion of how the process works!


So , per my science-savvy father, I have a quick explanation of HOW the baking soda - water - foil method works to clean your silver. 

3 Ag2S + 2 Al --/> 6 Ag + Al2S3


sulfide aluminum

silver aluminum


Basically, these ingredients cause a chemical reaction that causes the silver sulfide(the tarnished looking spots) back into silver. The reaction of the silver sulfide with the aluminum happens when the two come in contact with each other, and is transported by the water/baking soda solution(which conducts an electrical current that moves the sulfur from the silver to the aluminum)

For me, the "how" is less important than the fact that it works, and ya'll, it was so cool! I can't wait to show ya'll what I come up with for these pieces! 

Do you use old silver in your decor? Do you have a preferred way of polishing it? Feel free to share in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

xo, Lauren