If you don’t have silver polish on hand and you need to brighten silver ASAP, try one of the DIY methods below. Just know that these treatments won’t keep tarnish from returning, and silver experts caution against using them too often (if at all) so use them, especially the toothpaste trick, for emergency spruce-ups only. For silver-plated jewelry, avoid excessive rubbing to keep from wearing away the metal finish.
- Use dish soap: Mix a few drops of dish liquid, like Dawn, with warm water. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and rub the silver to remove the tarnish. Rinse with cool water and buff dry with another soft cloth.
- Try baking soda: For heavier tarnish, mix three parts baking soda to one part water. Wet the silver and apply the paste with a soft, lint-free cloth. Work it into the crevices and turn the cloth as it picks up the tarnish. Rinse well and buff dry.
- Reach for toothpaste: In the same way mild abrasives in toothpaste remove stains from your teeth, they can also remove tarnish from silver. Apply a tiny dab of white paste toothpaste (not gel) to your finger or a soft cloth and very gently rub it on the tarnished silver. Then, rinse well with warm water and buff to a shine with a soft cloth.