How to clean silver without chemicals

I hate cleaning silver jewelry and sterling silver tableware. All that rubbing, polishing and trying to get the tarnish out of all the nooks and crannies. Plus the smell and feel of silver polish...Yuck! I have looked for years for a better solution and nothing really worked as well as I'd like it to. Until now.

remove tarnish from silver without polishing

I finally found a great way to clean Sterling Silver. It's simple, cheap and does not use any heavy chemicals. In fact, you should have everything you need for this homemade silver cleaner in your kitchen.

Here's what I used:
  • Glass baking pan
  • Baking Soda
  • Boiling Water
  • Aluminum Foil

How to clean silver without chemicals 

All you need to do is line the baking pan with the aluminum foil. (I used the kind that's already cut into sheets and it worked great) Place jewelry on top of the foil. Try not to overlap pieces and spread out chains so as much surface as possible is touching the foil. 

Sprinkle with baking soda. Pour boiling water to cover the jewelry in the pan and let it set for a few minutes. 

The solution will bubble and smell....the chemical reaction causes a sulfur smell. It's not too strong though, and it goes away quickly once it's done.

silver jewelry cleaner

Fish the jewelry out with some tongs and rinse under cool water. I wiped it off with a soft cloth to remove any residue and it was good as new! You shouldn't have to buff the jewelry at all, but if some tarnished spots remain you can either buff them a little bit or return them to the solution for another minute.

cleaning jewelry, chemical free silver cleaner

I honestly couldn't believe how well this worked! I mean, some of this jewelry was old and hadn't been cleaned in years. (probably since the 80's 😂) I had quit wearing it because the color had looked so dull, and even dirty in some cases. Now it sparkles like new. Best of all, I didn't have to rub with silver polish and a rag for hours or get my hands coated in that weird smelling polish.

clean silver without polish

It also works perfectly for silver serving forks, spoons and such. You might need a deeper container though, or to do one side at a time. It's fast, cheap, easy and chemical free, plus you should have everything you need on hand already. Sounds like it's right up my alley! 

Video: cleaning silver

Since I posted this, I have gotten many messages saying this silver cleaning method doesn't work or that it's not possible. So, I filmed a video of the whole process. As you can see in the video, this solution works even for cleaning heavily tarnished silver. 

The spoon in the video hasn't been cleaned ever...and I received it as a gift in 1995! It's one of those baby sets people give as baby shower gifts. 

If you're looking for more cleaning hacks check out my 8 Different Uses For Denture Tablets which are absolutely A-mazing for cleaning difficult items.


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Simple cleaning method for sterling silver


  1. This looks like a great idea! I love findings ways to do things without rushing out to buy more chemicals.


  2. Thanks. I was surprised by how well it works! It even cleaned all the little in between spaces.


  3. LOve this! Was just thinking about how i was gonna clean my daughter's silver bracelet! Thanks! :) stopping by from the Clever Chick's Hop! :)

    Christine :)

    1. Try it, it's super easy! Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Can I use this on silver and turquoise jewelry? Will it hurt the turquoise stones?

    1. I honestly don't know. Turquoise is easily damaged so you might want to try it on a small stone before doing a whole piece of jewelry just to be safe.