Don't let your silver get nasty. Use these clever methods to get them spotless without polishing

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Silver has long been used to create utensils and dishes. This precious metal isn't a rare metal, but it's considered valuable for its unique properties. Silverware is made from silver because silver has antiseptic properties (which means germs don't gather as readily) and it's non-toxic.
One thing Silver doesn't do well (at least without a little love) is stay shiny. Silver tarnishes over time when it's exposed to air and moisture. Taking care of your silver is important for maintaining it's quality over the years and you don't have to resort to expensive (and toxic) chemicals to get the job done. Check out these 6 ways you can clean your silver with a little less muss and fuss:
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1. Salt and baking soda
For this method, you'll need:
A shallow bowl
Salt
Baking Soda
Tin foil
Bowl of fresh water
More warm water
1. Take your tin foil and line the inside of your empty, shallow, bowl (shiny side up).
2. Pour 1 tablespoon of baking soda on top of the foil, followed by 1 tablespoon of salt.
3. Add enough warm water to fill your bowl 2/3 of the way full. Stir to dissolve the salt and baking soda.
4. Immerse the spoon in the mixture. You need to be touching the silver for this to work, so don't just drop your pieces into the mixture. You may need to rub your silver against the tin foil a bit. (For tough stains, you can let the silverware soak for a few minutes). Rinse and dry.
5. You'll need to add more salt and baking soda every few pieces.
This method works like magic. It's easy and cheap too! Check out the cool process in action from NZ Coins.
2. Toothpaste
Another way you can clean your silver: grab organic toothpaste and a piece of flannel. Dab the toothpaste onto the flannel and rub your silver down. The paste and flannel should remove buildup, Mother Nature Network recommends.
3. Aluminum foil and vinegar
For this method you'll need:
Aluminum foil
Vinegar
Boiling Water
1. Line a skillet with foil.
2.Add 1 cup of vinegar to 1 quart of water and bring it to a boil. Place your silverware in the boiling water (leave the heat on) and let it soak for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat, rinse your silverware with hot water and wipe dry.
This method is easy and requires no toiling over the silverware or scrubbing.
4. Clean your silver with ketchup
Squirt some ketchup onto a paper towel and rub your silverware with the ketchup-soaked cloth. If it doesn't work immediately, you may need to let the ketchup sit on the tarnish for 15 minutes before rinsing, according to Reader's Digest.
5. Soak away tarnish in... soda
If your silverware is looking a little blah, soak your silver pieces in lemon-lime soda for one hour before rinsing.
6. Keep it shiny
The main thing that causes silver to tarnish: moisture. Keep moisture at bay by storing a piece of chalk in the drawer with your silver, Reader's Digest recommends.
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Save your family heirlooms and help them look their best before the next get-together by using one of these clever ideas for making your silver look brand new! You'll save time, money and avoid using too many chemicals.
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