3 Methods to Clean Silver With Baking Soda (& Why It's Better)

Baking soda provides an effective, affordable, and easy way to get your silver as shiny as new.

Updated December 18, 2023
baking soda to clean silver

If someone convinced you that the only silver cleaners worth buying are $30 or $40, then that someone lied to you. Take a pit stop in your pantry and look for that unopened box of baking soda. For under $1, you can get just as much of a sparkly shine. And unlike other eco-friendly options, cleaning silver with baking soda only takes a few steps. 

3 Methods for Cleaning Silver with Baking Soda

Antique silverware is a fun heirloom to break out during special occasions until you remember you haven't cleaned and polished it since last year. Instead of racing to the store to buy an expensive cleaner that's sure to expire in a few months, try cleaning silver with baking soda. Not only is it incredibly cheap, but you probably already have some on hand. There'll be no extra trips to the grocery store with these quick silver cleaning methods! 

The Soaking Method 

If you've ever tried to scrub off the tarnish on an old necklace, then you know that sometimes a good soak is the way to go. 

Materials You'll Need 

  • Large bowl 
  • Aluminum foil 
  • Hot water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda 
  • Microfiber cloth 


  1. Line a large bowl with aluminum foil, making sure that the shiny side is facing toward you.
  2. Place the soiled silver items into the foil-lined bowl.
  3. Pour very hot water into the bowl, making sure it's covering all of your silver stuff. 
  4. Add two heaping tablespoons of baking soda to the water. It will bubble. Let everything soak for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove and rinse the silver well, making sure that all of the baking soda is gone.
  6. Dry well before storing.
Need to Know

The soaking method works best on smaller silver items like rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. 

The Baking Soda Paste Method 

For larger silver items like serving trays and tea sets, a baking soda paste is the way to go. 

Materials You'll Need 

  • Damp cloth/sponge 
  • Baking soda 
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth 


  1. Slowly add water to half a box of baking soda until it forms a paste. 
  2. Dip a soft, damp cloth or a clean sponge into the paste and rub it onto the dirty silver items. 
  3. Once finished, rinse everything with water.
  4. Dry well before storing.
Quick Tip

If your silver is heavily stained, rub the paste in and leave it on for a little while before rinsing. 

The Baking Soda & Salt Method 

Cleaning silver this way sounds like an 'and the kitchen sink' kind of situation. But, the concoction you make is well worth dipping into the pantry for all the ingredients. 

Materials You'll Need 

  • Aluminum foil 
  • Water 
  • Baking soda
  • Salt 
  • Clean pan
  • Microfiber cloth 


  1. Place a pan on the stove and heat.
  2. Add a sheet of aluminum foil to the bottom of a pan.
  3. Add two to three inches of water to the pan.
  4. Add one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil.
  5. Add silver pieces and boil for about four minutes, making sure the mixture fully covers the silver.
  6. Remove silver items using tongs and rinse everything off with cool water.
  7. Dry and buff your silver with a microfiber cloth.

Why Your Silver Needs Frequent Cleanings

tarnished silver

There's nothing more disheartening than spending a small fortune on pure silver and watching it tarnish before your very eyes. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to stop tarnish entirely. Silver tarnishes when exposed to air, and the different silver ratios (sterling silver, silver alloy, pure silver etc.) will tarnish to varying degrees. The only way you can beat back the ravages of age is by breaking out your silver and cleaning/polishing it every few months. 

Stop the Tarnish Before It Starts 

Another way to protect your silver is by being conscious of the things you're keeping near it. For example, rubber and silver are archenemies, so it's unwise to use rubber gloves when cleaning the precious metal. 

Other things that can negatively react to silver and lead to tarnishing/staining are: 

  • Olives
  • Salad dressing
  • Eggs
  • Vinegar
  • Fruit juices

Make Your Silver Sparkle & Shine 

Your silver might be expensive, but cleaning it doesn't have to be. Keep the tarnish at bay and your silver looking dinner party ready all year long by cleaning it with baking soda. Your wallet and your heirlooms will be happy that you did. 

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3 Methods to Clean Silver With Baking Soda (& Why It's Better)