Silver was discovered around 4000 BC. At that time, silver was used both as currency as well as a thing of adornment. In 2000 BC, mining for silver began with the extraction of lead ore with silver in it. In 500 BC, a large mine was discovered near Athens - this mine enabled the city to grow rich and powerful. Nowadays, silver is still valued. When it gets tarnished, you can clean it with supplies found around the house.
Clean the silver
Begin by cleaning the silver thoroughly with soap and water. This will work for silver plate, EPNS silver (electromagnetic nickel silver). Scrub the silver well so as to remove any dirt, oil or anything that can prevent you from polishing the silver. Dish soap works well for this process. It does not have to be any special soap.
Prepare a pot
- Line a pot with tinfoil. The pot does not have to be very large - unless you are trying to clean something large like a silver plate. - Fill the pot with water. It does not have to be a lot of water - just enough to completely cover the silver that you are trying to polish. - Place the pot on the burner of your stove. - Add baking soda to the water. If the silver piece is large, then you may have to add up two cups or more per gallon of water. If you are cleaning a smaller piece, you may need only a few teaspoons of baking soda. - Turn the burner to high when the baking soda dissolves, and bring the water to a boil.
Polish the silver
- Take the pot from the stove once the water boils. - Place the silver in the water by using tongs. Let the silver touch the tinfoil. This will remove the tarnish, or sulphur, from the silver and stick it to the tinfoil. The tinfoil may, in fact, turn black. - Check your progress by removing the silver from the water. If it is still polished, place the silver back in the pot and let it continue to soak. - Remove the silver from the pot when it is clean. - Wash it with water to remove any baking soda that may remain on the silver. - Place the silver on a soft towel and dry it completely. It will be shiny without the use harsh cleansers.