How to Clean and Hand Polish Silver

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 29,040
    Fine Metals Expert Richard Sisson demonstrates how to clean and hand polish silver.

    Richard Sisson: Hi! I am Richard Sisson with Chevy Chase Plating & Polishing. Today, we are showing you how to hand polish your silver. And I would like to begin that process by taking this item which is mildly tarnished and using a liquid silver polish on it with a part of an old cotton T-shirt. We put the polish on the cloth and we take the tarnished area and we massage it into the silver. The tarnish begins to disappear. Then we take a polishing cloth and buff it and thats how we polish silver that is in good condition. Sometimes, there is old polish residue real built up in the nooks and crannies of the piece you are polishing. If it's really caked in there and it has been there a long time, you might want to use a solvent to loosen that with your brush. And I would recommend a solvent such as turpentine or paint thinner, and you would dip your brush into the solvent and you would get into the nooks and crannies like this to get the old residue out. If your old polish residue is not badly embedded or caked, then you could just use your brush with a little silver polish to get into the nooks and crannies. Then buff it with your polishing cloth. Sometimes, your silver maybe badly tarnished, in which case, it will need to be cleaned before its polished. There are a couple of methods of doing that. In my hand I have a part of a piece of Nevr-Dull which is a chemically treated cotton wadding and it will remove heavy tarnish from silver. And you rub hard with the Nevr-Dull and you go over with a polishing cloth. And as you see it does a good job of cleaning the heavy tarnish off of the silver. Then you would proceed with your silver polish for the finishing touches. There are other methods of removing heavy tarnish also. There are liquid products in the market such as Tarnex. And here I am going to take a barely tarnished spoon and I will dip it in the Tarnex and then I am going to leave it in there for a couple of seconds. I am going to pull it out and wipe it dry and as you can see that removes the heavy tarnish also. In which case, you would proceed after that to hand silver polish with the liquid or some other type of product. And that other type of product maybe in the form of a high quality paste polish in the two. In this case, this is Wenol. Wenol is great for hand polishing silver and especially smaller pieces, that is, more concentrated areas such as silver flatware. And here I am going to take the Wenol and I am going to take my polishing cloth and proceed to briskly rub it, very fine finish. So thats the information about how to hand polish your silver and good luck with your silver polishing project.