How to Clean Silver Bars

By Jim Stewart ; Updated April 12, 2017
Learn how to clean silver bars.

Silver bullion bars are often obtained as investments because of their potential rise in value. Pure silver bullion bars will tarnish if they’re not kept in airtight containers. While this tarnish is not aesthetically pleasing like shiny silver, it does not devalue the silver bars; which are priced by weight. You can clean the tarnish off of your silver bars at home without the need to consult with a professional metallurgist. The whole process should take about a minute.

Place a plastic bowl on a table. This bowl will hold a liquid solution that will remove tarnish from pure silver bars.

Take the aluminum foil and place it on the bottom of the bowl. The aluminum foil will create a safe chemical reaction when the other ingredients are added to the bowl.

Pour two cups of boiling water into the bowl. Pour it slowly so that it doesn’t splash over the side of the bowl when you’re pouring.

Quickly add 1 tsp of salt to bowl and 1 tsp of baking soda to the solution.

Place your silver bars on top of the aluminum foil and wait for 20 seconds. You’ll see that all of the tarnish comes right off of the silver without scrubbing.

Things Needed

  • Plastic bowl
  • Aluminum foil – one piece 5 inches x 5 inches
  • Boiling water
  • Teaspoon
  • Salt
  • Baking soda

Tip

Make sure that the water is boiling hot for this technique to work.

If there’s dirt on the silver bars in addition to tarnish, simply scrub the bars in soapy water to remove the dirt.

About the Author

Based in Princeton, N.J., Jim Stewart has been writing travel- and business-related articles since 1987. His work has appeared in “Inc.” and “Business 2.0” magazines and online at Wired. Stewart received the John Goldenberg Award in 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University in Ohio.