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How to Remove Tarnish from Silver Bars and Silver Coins

Tarnishing can spoil the look of silver bars and coins, as well as have an impact on their value. Here are some tips to follow if you want to remove unsightly blemishes from the surface without doing damage to the precious metal beneath.

How to Remove Tarnish from Silver
Tarnished silver coins just don’t have the same level of appeal

Gather your ingredients

There are seven ingredients you’ll need to get together if you want to make your silver bars and coins sparkle again when they become tarnished. We’ll go through them first, then explain how to use them together to get the desired result:

  • Non-reactive container (e.g. a plastic mixing bowl)
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Aluminium foil
  • Rubber gloves
  • Kitchen towel and
  • Hot water

Setting up to clean silver bars and silver coins

First prepare your non-reactive container by rolling out the foil and using it to line the bottom of the bowl, leaving no exposed areas. Make multiple passes with the foil if necessary.

Next add the hot water, either by boiling a kettle and allowing it to cool a little, or placing a measuring jug in the microwave and heating it for around three minutes on full power to get the right temperature. The amount of water you need will depend on the size of the silver bar or the number of coins you need to clean, but 500-600ml should suffice in most cases.
Insider's Guide to gold and silver
Pop in a teaspoon of salt, along with two or three tablespoons of baking soda, giving the liquid a stir afterwards. Now it’s time to add the silver, which should be done gently wearing the rubber gloves to reduce the abrasions and avoid injuring your skin in the hot water solution.

It should take about half a minute for the solution to get to work, lifting away the tarnishes and leaving the surface of the silver clean and shiny again. Dry the silver with a kitchen towel after removing it from the water and you’re good to go.

Things to avoid when cleaning silver

There are some fairly drastic approaches to cleaning silver recommended online, but it’s best to stick to the gentlest, safest option, rather than anything that might end up abrading the surface of the metal and compromising it further.

Scrubbing, brushing and the use of harsh chemical cleaners or detergents isn’t sensible. If you’ve bought silver bars or coins (such as Britannias or Sovereigns) as an investment, rather than acquiring vintage currency as part of a collection, then the simple method we’ve described above should be sufficiently effective.

Thinking of buying more silver? Read our 7 step cheat sheet to successful silver investment. Download FREE.

Take precautions to protect silver bars and silver coins

Once you’ve managed to get rid of the tarnishing, it’s a good idea to try and prevent this from building up again over time. To do this, store your silver in an airtight container that is sealed against the elements so that it is not exposed to moisture and other harmful substances.

Contact Physical Gold for silver investment advice

If you have yet to get on board with silver, or you want to increase your holdings of this valuable metal, Physical Gold is here to help. Call 020 7060 9992 or send us an email today for all the advice and guidance you need.


Image Credit: Pixabay

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