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Chad Arnow
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 12 Jun, 2007 9:04 am    Post subject: Polishing silver         Reply with quote

I stumbled in a great, cheap, and easy way to polish silver and wanted to share it with you guys. I also had a question about it. My wife and I found this in one of her books and it works great.

Polishing silver:
-Line sink or bowl with aluminum foil (shiny side up or down--it doesn't matter).
-Place silver items into sink/bowl
-Cover with boiling water
-Sprinkle in baking soda (the amount depends on how much silver and how tarnished it is)
-Let sit for 10 minutes or so.
-Rinse and dry with a soft cloth

This involves no harsh chemicals or abrasives and no endless rubbing with a polishing cloth. The tarnish ends up stuck to the aluminum foil. We've used it on silverware and a silver tea set passed down through the family.

If I had to guess, I'd say this method is easier on silver than polishing with metal polish (most of which contain abrasives on some kind). I'm sure a little metal is removed, though. Would this be safer than polishing with Metal-Glo or Flitz or something else?

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

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PostPosted: Tue 12 Jun, 2007 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I gather, no silver is removed from the object. The point of the method is just to move the other atoms that contribute to the stains (essentially sulfur) to the aluminium sheet. It certainly should be less aggressive than any polishing, especially if the surface to clean is engraved or something.

Due to the principle of the method, it would probably not be safe to use on objects made from several different metals. At least not without an understanding of chemistry better than mine Wink

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Jose Albovias





Joined: 25 Feb 2004

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jun, 2007 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very true - DO NOT USE THIS WITH MIXED METALS! - the other metals would absorb the sulfer and especially copper ions onto them, effectively copper plating anything else, especially steel, brass, silver, etc. This sounds like a good method for only silver or single metals. Basically it is electrolysis - the energy supplied by the boiling of the baking soda and that chemical reaction. I would suggest not leaving it there too long so that pits would not possibly result.

Unfortunately my weapons are of mixed metals. Worried
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