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A natural way to clean tarnished silver

If you're a seasoned professional in the domestic services industry, you've probably cleaned or attempted to clean every conceivable item in a house, and it's likely that you've come across quite a bit of tarnished silver. This happens when the metal undergoes a chemical reaction with sulfur-containing substances in the air. There are many commercial silver cleaning products available, but unfortunately some contain abrasives and ingredients that may actually damage the silver and pose a risk to your health. Luckily, there is a safe, effective and natural way to clean silver that your employer will appreciate, especially if he or she has allergies or sensitive skin.

  • Line a large pan with aluminum foil and place all items to be cleaned inside. Make sure each item is touching the foil, then pour in enough water to cover them.
  • Add one tablespoon each of salt and baking soda to the water.
  • Cover the pan and let it sit for at least four to five hours, but preferably overnight. Alternatively, place the pan on the stove and gently boil for two to three minutes.
  • Empty the water and remove the silver from the pan. Rinse each item well with hot water.
  • Add two to three drops of olive oil to a soft, natural fiber cloth and rub the silver pieces with it. This will dry and polish the silver, and provide a natural anti-tarnish.

This form of cleaning works with most silver pieces, but be careful with extremely valuable or fragile pieces. If you're unsure, ask your estate manager to call a specialist. 

Skilled domestic staff are hard to find. If you have housekeeping experience and are seeking placement at an estate in California, Colonial Domestic Agency would love to assist you in finding employment.