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Cleaning Of Silver, Gold Or Copper Plated Goods

Supplier: A Class Metal Finishers
14 April, 2009

After washing in mild dish detergent and drying, in a glass, aluminium or stainless steel bowl (eg, sink) place:

  • A sheet of aluminium foil
  • Hot water (the hotter the better)
  • 1 heaped dessert spoon of washing soda per litre of water

(Washing soda is available in the laundry section of your supermarket. Note - do not use Bicarbonate of Soda)

  • Place the tarnished item in the solution ensuring contact with foil for several seconds. (Soak severely tarnished items for several minutes)
  • Remove from solution and gently wipe or rub clean with a soft cloth. Severely tarnished items which have been soaked may require heavy/firm wiping or a second soaking
  • This solution will only remove tarnish up to the water line so larger items that can not be immersed totally at one time may need to be turned during the process. (Alternatively, it may be worthwhile filling your sink with solution deep enough to cover item/s)

Note - the above is not recommended for opals or "Britannia Metal" products.

Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaning pastes as these will reduce the life of the plated surface. However very severe tarnish may require it.

Silver-ware that has had a lot of use may require re-silver plating - contact 'A Class' for a quotation if this is the case.


  • After cleaning, give item a wipe over with a 'silver cloth' (available from supermarkets, jewelers or A Class). This will leave a protective film on the surface metal which helps reduce tarnishing time.
  • A few sea shells placed near to items in cupboard or storage will help absorb moisture that causes tarnish.

NOTE - If, like many others, you really can't be bothered with cleaning 'tarnish- prone' goods you may like to consider having them CLEAR-COATED with "E- coat" a very durable new coating. E-coat* enables you to confidently use, display and enjoy many, many years without complicated cleaning and maintenance of your metal-wares. (*not suited to some 'in use' cooking vessels & some metal types)


  • Rust and deterioration is most often caused by the presence of moisture and dirt or dust on the surface of the item.
  • Clean regularly with an appropriate, non abrasive detergent.Rinse then dry thoroughly. (Pay attention to dirt & moisture that may be trapped on the underside.)
  • Apply wax based furniture type polish & buff with a cloth until shiny. This will provide some surface protection against harmful moisture and will enhance shine.
  • Hardware and auto shops stock a range of chrome cleaning or polishing products.(Some are also available from A-Class)