Tuesday’s Resourceful Little Idea
How to Clean your Silver with Tin Foil, Baking Soda and Hot Water
I have a thing for old Victorian cutlery, and last year, after a very fun scavenge through some London markets with my brother-in-law, I replaced all my cheap Ikea cutlery (which I had no feelings for) with lovely old mismatched Victorian cutlery, some silver, some not, some monogrammed, some not, some fancy, some plain. I love it. Absolutely love it. To quote my brother-in-law: “food tastes better when eaten with a hundred-year-old cutlery” and I couldn’t agree more. There is something very pleasing about eating your morning breakfast out of a spoon that has actually worn away due to the use it has had over the years. Plus, of course, it looks absolutely gorgeous. I think I was most definitely born in the wrong era, as all this sleek, designer, expensive, minimalist modern stuff does nothing for me. I realise this probably makes me a little odd, but I have come to terms with it.
So, after all my bargaining, I cradled my newspaper-wrapped cutlery as I rode the tube back to my sister’s house, and then spent a furious few hours polishing away, until each piece gleamed gloriously in the fading summer sun. I had good intentions to regularly polish my cutlery, to never let it get too tarnished and neglected. Ha! Well, real life got in the way, tarnished blue-black cutlery has been haunting me for a while now, but I have been too lazy to put any elbow grease into tackling the problem.
Then, a few weeks ago, while browsing the net, I came across a fabulous tip for cleaning silver, but it sounded too easy to be true. In the name of reasearch I decided to test it out, and by God it works!
All you need is tin foil, baking soda and hot water, you mix them all together in a big pot, add your silver (which has to be in contact with the tin foil) and as if by magic the tarnish disappears and you have gleaming silverware again! I found that, once the cutlery comes out of the pot, it still needs a good polish with a soft cloth, and then a rinse with warm soapy water, but all in all this technique was a lot less time-consuming than the usual ordeal of polishing each piece separately with silver polish.
To be honest the cutlery didn’t come out quite as shiny as when I use silver polish, but I am happy with the results, and will be using this method regularly in between the bi-annual proper polish! It also smelt a bit, like sulphure, and the tin foil ended up all discoloured, which the boy found fascinating.
I hope this little tip is useful to you.