I wanted to take a before/after photo of what you can expect when you use electrochemistry to polish silver, but... all I had in the house that was silver were some chains and one big silver bowl that has been black since the 1980s. I went with the bowl, which produced a picture that needs some explanation. What you see in this photo is the bottom of the bowl (silver again) and the sides/top (black). I filled the bowl halfway with hot water, sprinked in some salt and baking soda, and added a piece of aluminum foil. If you have silver cutlery, candlesticks, holloware, etc. that needs cleaned (even if it's totally darkened with tarnish), here's what you do:
Electrochemistry Silver Polish Materials
- pan large enough for your items (or the sink)
- hot water
- baking soda
- aluminum foil
- Line the bottom of the container with the aluminum foil.
- Add the tarnished item.
- Pour in sufficient steaming hot water to cover your tarnished silver.
- Add equal amounts of salt and baking soda (about 2 teaspoons each for silverware, more if you are filling a sink).
- Allow about 5 minutes for the reaction to remove the tarnish. If you don't see any effect, you may want to add more salt/baking soda and make sure some part of the silver is in contact with the foil.
- Rinse the silver under clean water and dry it with a soft cloth.