Clean your silver plates and create a chemistry lesson for children all at the same time. The reason  that cleaning a silver plate with aluminum foil works is due to an ion exchange. These is a very simple, easy and effective method from very common items most people keep in their kitchen. I have done this method with my son at home and he is amazed at the results. He couldn't wait to tell his teacher about cleaning our silver plate. We use our silver plater during the Thanksgiving and Christmas for our Turkey and he  really looks forward to this activity.

Clean a Silver Plate


Things You'll Need:

  • Silver Plate or Platter
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Container
  • Cold Water
  • Salt

Directions for cleaning the silver plate with aluminum foil:

  1. Find a clean pan or baking dish that is larger and deeper than the silver plate you are going to clean. I use a large glass baking dish. Now take a sheet of aluminum foil and line the pan.
  2. Fill the aluminum lined container with cold water. Add two teaspoons of salt. If you had to use a container that is larger than a big baking dish, it might be necessary to add in more salt for this method to work correctly.
  3. Now that the magic solution is ready, place your silver plate in the contaner. Let it soak in the solution for two or three minutes. Please time the soaking. You don't want to allow the plate to set longer than the recommended time.
  4. After two or three minutes of soaking the item in the solution, remove the silver plate. Rinse it off well with water and then continue to dry it off with a soft, lint free towel. You don't want to scratch your silver. Avoid using paper towels.
  5. To keep your silverware from tarnishing in storage, line the surface  of the container or drawer with aluminum foil. Then place the silver item or items on top. Do not use this method if this is going to be long term storage.

Tips & Warnings
If you are storing silver for a very long time, it is best to leave or let it tarnish.  Tarnish is silvers natural way of preserving itself.
Do not use too much salt. Only add a bit more in if the container is large.
Do not leave soaking for longer than recommended time. Again, be sure to time this action.

There is also a method on how to clean a silver plate with aluminum using baking soda. It requires heating so I like the salt method better.