Why does Silver Tarnish?
Silver is fairly inert but will react with any sulfur compounds in the air which is why it slowly tarnishes.
Silver tarnishes even more quickly when it is exposed to damp and humid air.
Silver shouldn’t be worn in pools because the chlorine can cause pitting. Pitting is the erosion or formation of little holes that results from silver touching chlorine.
Silver has many different enemies that you need to try to keep it from coming into contact with. These include rubber, table salt, salad dressing, olives, eggs, vinegar, and fruit juices. Don’t Store or serve these items in silverwares.
Also, avoid using your silver pieces to store or show off flowers or fruit. The acid that these items produce as they decay can etch the container and damage it forever.
How to protect Silver?
Silver needs to be kept covered in treated paper, plastic, or cloth. Don’t use a newspaper to cover silver. If your silver gets tarnished. Polish it with home tips or take it to a professional. Keep your silver shiny and gleaming like new.
Precautions to be taken before cleaning
Incase you are cleaning jewelry, check it for loose stones before cleaning. Also make sure you plug the hole in the bottom of your sink in case you drop your jewelry lest you loose any precious stones or small pieces of jewelry. Incase you are using silver polish or acids, please wear a pair of gloves before you handle the chemicals, to protect your hands.
For jewelry with intricate designs, use a silver-cleaning paste which can get into small crevices. Don’t use a toothbrush or other abrasive cleaners because they will scratch the silver. Wipe with a clean soft cloth.
Be careful while cleaning antiques with home remedies as this may not only damage the item but may also affect it's value.
Most of the methods are tried and tested and work well in polishing the silver. But if you are having a lot of sentimental value and afraid to try out any of the methods, you can always take your jewelry or silverware to a professional for polishing
For bigger size vessels
Find a container large enough to immerse the item to be cleaned. Put a piece of aluminum foil (shiny side showing) into the container and add hot water and salt. Dip the silverware into the solution and after a few seconds it will become white and shining.
Note: The reason this works is Aluminum is a very active metal and silver is quite inert, so aluminum reacts with the (tarnished silver) and frees up the silver metal and removes the rest in a chemical reaction.
Aluminum foil, Salt, and baking soda
Take a large pan, depending on the size of the items you want cleaned. Put a sheet of aluminum foil in the pan and put 2-3 inches of water on top of it. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the baking soda, and bring to a boil. Add the silver that needs to be cleaned and boil for 2-3 minutes, making sure that the pieces are covered by the water. Rinse, buff and dry.
If you want bigger items cleaned like Tea Pots and trays, use your sink. Line it with Aluminum Foil (shiny side showing). Put 2-3 tablespoons of Baking Powder in the middle of it. If you want to polish more vessels increase the quantity of baking powder. Place the jewelry (or items) on the baking powder. Fill the bowl or sink with boiling hot water. (refer photograph on the left)
For smaller vessels, Pooja articles
Clean silver with the juice of a lemon and polish up with a soft clean cloth.
Use cotton buds to get into difficult crevices.
After cleaning your good silver to prevent it tarnishing, store it in an airtight plastic container.
Toothpaste is good for removing tarnish on Sliver. Coat the silver with toothpaste, work it into a foam using gentle pressure using a toothbrush with soft bristles and then rinse it under warm water. Rinse well, dry, and buff with a soft cloth.
Toothpaste makes a great jewelry cleaner and works on most ink spots. Just rub in and rinse.
The bristles of the toothbrush work well in cleaning all of the crevices and hard to reach places.
Note: Toothpaste is mildly abrasive so don't rub hard. Don’t use a hard brush.
Don’t use a gel toothpaste, Use the regular creamy toothpaste.
Mix water and baking soda, make a paste and coat the items you want to polish with the paste. Rub the items you want to polish with a soft bristled toothbrush, rinse the mixture off, and then dry well. This will make your silver beautiful and shiny.
There are many different silver polishes available at your local store. Use one of these if the above methods do not work.
Silver should be rinsed in warm water and patted dry. If silver jewelry is tarnished, use a silver-polishing cloth(refer to picture on the right) or a jar of silver-cleaning fluid.
try. Take fine steel wool (refer to picture on the right) and dip it in the acid. Then lightly wipe it onto the silver until it begins to shine. Be sure to wear acid-resistant gloves when using this method.