Cleaning Silver...FUN?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

After my post about Mr. Heart and I at the Auction, I received several questions about cleaning silver.

There is nothing fun about cleaning silver.  It is hard work and depending on the cleaner you are using, it can be SMELLY!
Recently I came across a product that was new to me and I love it! 

Below are a few pieces from the auction.  These pieces are not as badly tarnished as some that have already been cleaned. 

I have never taken the time to read the back of the silver cleaner I used to use, but recently learned that it has a cancer warning on the label.  Considering this information along with the awful smell, I went looking for another option and found a product that is new to me, but has been around for a long time...QUICKSILVER! 

Quicksilver is an electrolytic plate and though I don't understand how it works, I can honestly say that it does...and well!

For the Quicksilver plate to work, you will need some Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda.
This product is not available in all grocery stores, but is available in stores such as Harris Teeter.

To begin, you will need to add about 4 tablespoons of the washing soda to 1 gallon of very warm water.

I begin by using a gallon pitcher and add a few cups of warm water to the pitcher.  Then I add the washing soda and stir a bit to start the dissolving process.

I continue stirring as I fill the pitcher with the gallon of warm water...

My sink is pretty large, so I usually add 2 gallons.  So I repeat the above process twice.  Then you place the Quicksilver plate in the sink.

  To clean larger pieces a bucket can be used so the entire piece can be covered with the mixture, though keeping the washing soda and water mixture in proper ratios is important for it to work well.

When a piece of silver/silver plate is badly tarnished, the process will need to be repeated several times.  As you can see below, these pieces are very badly tarnished and will very likely need several cleanings.

Just insert the silver piece into the mixture, making sure that at least one part of the piece is touching the Quicksilver plate.  It doesn't matter how much of the piece is touching the plate, just so part of the piece is touching.  Once there is contact, the cleaning process begins.

Shown below, just the right side of this piece is in the mixture and touching the Quicksilver plate.  Within seconds the tarnish begins to disappear!

Below, the entire piece is entirely submersed in the mixture.  Can you see the darker areas that are taking longer to process?  After 2 minutes, the cleaning process is complete and Quicksilver won't remove any more tarnish on this piece.  If the piece isn't as clean as you would like, the process will need to be repeated.

After 2 minutes, remove the piece and place it in a sink with warm sudsy water. 

Wash, rinse and then dry.
One the piece is completely dry, you can start the process over.

Below is another piece to be cleaned.  The outer edge has tarnished much more than the center.

Below, the right side is in the mixture and touching the Quicksilver plate.  The tarnish is quickly disappearing.

I then placed the serving tray completely into the mixture, and within seconds the tarnish disappears.

The picture below shows the side of a candy dish that has been cleaned on top of a tray that is badly tarnished...what a difference!

The difference is amazing, so easy to do and with no messy pastes, smelly liquids and best of elbow grease!  Did I say EASY!

Silver is so beautiful!
In the picture below, all of the pitchers, coffee pots, dishes and platters look so pretty now!
The bottom piece is a platter that is still covered in tarnish and in need of cleaning, not so pretty!
I'll clean this piece next...

Oh yeah, another great benefit of Quicksilver...
none of the silver is removed when cleaning with this product!
I hope you found this helpful.

Please let me know you visited and I'd love to hear your thoughts...

I got a little info forwarded to me after this post...Cleaning Silver Update ~ Who Knew?

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  1. In all my yaers as antique dealer & in all our shops ... I've not heard of this. TY for sharing. Will check it out.

    Happy St. Paddy's Day ~
    Have a beautiful week ~
    TTFN ~


  2. I need one!!!!! :D Thanks for posting!

  3. That is amazing Cindy! So much easier than that liquid messy paste. Looks beautiful!

  4. Wow!! that looked easy. Where do you get Quicksilver? and how expensive is it? Thanks for the info.

    Have a God Filled Day

  5. Cindy,

    Thank you for visiting me at Brambly and taking an interest in it. You found some lovely pieces of silver-I collect silver and I'm always looking for a better way to deal with the tarnish. Thank you for the great tip! Have a wonderful evening!


  6. I've seen that done before, but still don't understand how it works! It doesn't harm the silver in any way?
    Dropping by from Met Monday. When you have time, come see the chairs I had recovered.


  7. I don't have any silver but I'll try to remember this product if I ever get any.

  8. I have heard of this, but never tried it, it seems almost like magic!!


  9. This is amazing. I'll have to invest in this.

    Thanks for sharing!


  10. I recently came across some silver pieces at a thrift store. Very tarnished. I have never had silver and didn't really know how to clean it. Thank you for telling about this product. I will definately look for it and give it a try. Thanks again. Karie

  11. Hi Cindy,
    Wow, that quicksilver does a great job.
    Can you get it at the grocery store or walmart or did you have to order it from somewhere??
    Hope you are doing well hon,
    Blessings, Nellie

  12. I wish I understood chemistry better... where can I get one?

  13. Ok, I am going to have to buy some of this. It looks so easy!

  14. You can do the same with a piece of alum foil -- it works the same way. And it is an easy way to remove tarnish especially from those really black things!

    Thanks for showing this method.

  15. Thanks so much for sharing, but you didn't say where you found the quicksilver product.

  16. I just spent an hour cleaning silver--so glad i happened across your post! Going to give it a shot with the aluminum foil first.

  17. Gee Cindy, thank you so much for the b. soda idea, I've heard it before, but didn't have a correct "recipe" to do and now, here it is! I have a few things sterling, mine, and some we have inherited from my MIL, picture frames, sterling and not, etc...and of course, the ever nice silver plated too. So, I'll get to work. Thanks you for sharing again.

  18. I love silver and have a lot of it. Do you think it's safe for our pieces? So happy to hear about this and will be anxious to try it.


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