Safe & Easy Silver Dip Recipe
Our Safe & Easy Silver Dip Recipe is perfect for removing tarnish from your silver with a few cents worth of ingredients you already have at home! Silver jewelry, particularly if it’s vintage, can easily tarnish if not worn frequently. This dip is great for all genuine sterling silver and will not harm hard gemstones (see caution at the bottom of the page for more details).
- 3-cup or more capacity glass dish or bowl lined with a sheet of aluminum foil
- 2 cup liquid measuring cup or similar size container
- ¼ cup salt (any kind works, but coarse salt takes longer to dissolve)
- ¼ cup fresh baking soda (a newer box works best –this is true for baking too!)
- 1.5 cups very hot water
- 2 or more pieces of silver jewelry
- 1-2 tablespoons white vinegar
- Tongs or fork to remove jewelry from hot liquid
- Fine mesh strainer for rinsing
- Crumple foil slightly and place in bottom of dish or bowl
- Dissolve salt and baking soda in hot water using a measuring cup; mixture will remain cloudy
- Place two or more pieces of silver, overlapping one another, on top of foil – the chemical reaction that takes place depends on the items touching each other so don’t skip this step
- Pour dissolved baking soda/salt/water mixture over jewelry
- Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar; you will see the mixture foam up (a little like a science project volcano).
- Watch closely and remove silver pieces with tongs or fork as soon as tarnish disappears
- Add additional vinegar to reinvigorate solution as needed. More vinegar = more reaction
- Using strainer, rinse silver under running water to ensure all residue has been removed, then lay items out to air dry on a soft cloth, or pat dry.
- When dry, polish with a buffing cloth if desired. Any soft cloth will work but we recommend a jewelry polishing cloth
- Thick, old tarnish may take several minutes of soaking to take off, whereas light tarnish may disappear almost instantly. Watch closely and remove items as soon as the tarnish is gone.
- For bigger items or larger quantities of jewelry, use a deeper and/or larger container and double or triple the recipe. The solution must cover the jewelry completely.
- Other clear vinegars can substitute if needed (apple cider, wine, etc.), however some will leave a residue on your jewelry that has to be washed off. Avoid dark or flavored vinegars like malt and balsamic.
- If this is more work than you want to put it and you’d rather buy a ready-made dip, I recommend this one on Amazon.
Warning – this solution may have an odor similar to rotten eggs when the vinegar is added. This is a normal part of the reaction that takes place. Grandma recommends opening a window!
Caution – Do not use this safe & easy silver dip recipe on gold electroplate (the chemical reaction can remove gold plating), or on soft gemstones such as pearls or opals. Prolonged contact with this solution can damage the surface of pearls, opals and other soft stones.