Reply To: Cleaning and Conservation of Silver items


I recently was tasked with polishing some silver artifacts, some from the 1800’s. The method that my curator and I used was a non-abrasive method of polishing.

We had a plastic container, big enough for the soup ladle we were polishing. You boil water, put a piece of aluminium foil in the bottom of the container and pour salt and baking soda on top. Then add the water and place your artifacts in. The tarnish comes off and sticks to the aluminium foil. Then you can take out the artifacts and lightly buff and dry them.

It was a really effective method!! We cleaned a trophy that hadn’t been cleaned since we got it, it was almost black, and now it is bright and shiny again!!

Hope this helps!!