How to clean silver with food

Silver is lovely to use, but I am guessing that you have lots of it lying about or hidden away in a draw as it is considered by most people to be too hard to keep clean. This is not quite true! And it is such a shame to have it stored away and never used.

My advice is: use it, care for it, or sell it. But that is just me. 

It is absolutely best not to put silver in the dishwasher, but hand washing is really not that hard especially if that is all you have to wash. You really only need to pay particular attention to silver once or twice a year, and storing it correctly is key to keeping it looking lovely and shiny.

Storing the cutlery in a flannel cloth in a dry drawer or wooden box is the best option. Air and damp are your enemies. You can combat the damp by adding one of those silica sachets that you find in packaging. A small jar of bicarb soda with the lid off will also absorb moisture.


  • Aluminum foil
  • Glass or aluminium dish or bowl
  • Boiling water
  • 3 tbs bicarb soda
  • 1 tbs salt
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Castile soap
  • Warm water

Everyday clean

After you have used the silver cutlery and the rest of the dishes are in the dishwasher all you need to do is fill the sink with warm water and add a little Castile soap. Wash the cutlery as normal and then dry them with a towel. Start with a dry tea towel, and then when finished, and you are putting them away, give them a once over with a dry microfiber cloth. If you don’t have a silver flannel bag, then a flannel pillowcase will work just as well. You can place one on the bottom of the drawer, and another draped over the top.

Deep clean (if they are black with tarnish)

Take your dish or bowl and place a sheet of aluminium foil on the bottom. Sprinkle the bicarb soda over the foil and add the salt and boiling water. As you see the reaction start, add the tarnished silver. You will see the tarnish drop from the silver onto the foil after about 20 seconds. Once done, remove the silver and rinse under cool water and polish dry. If there is any remaining tarnish, you can repeat the process. Remember, storage is everything with silver. 

Note: There is an old wives' tale that you can stop silver tarnishing by wrapping it in plastic seran wrap. This is not a good idea as it can damage the silver's surface. Flannel is a much better choice.