I mentioned a while back a silver tray that I found at my grandma's and showed you what it looked like before. In case you don't remember, here it is.
My parents and I were helping my grandma clean out her garage one day and I turned and found this in the trash. I was excited that I had finally found a tray (I had been looking for something cool like that to go on my vanity), but sad that she was just going to throw it away.
Then, there was this one.
This one, my grandma found in her PANTRY while cleaning it out one day. She knew I liked the other one, so she gave me this one too.
Both of these looked sad, so I looked up a homemade silver polish. Let's face it. I didn't want to spend money on actual polish because I didn't know if they were actually silver and would come clean. Turns out, they were both silver plated. Both came from about the 1950s-1960s and were from my great grandma's collection of stuff.
The recipe for homemade silver polish is simple: baking soda, boiling water, and aluminum foil.
It was recommended that you line a glass baking pan with the foil and place your silver in there. Although, both of my pieces were just a little too big for the baking dish, so I used the kitchen sink. The foil is important. I think it causes some reaction that helps to eliminate the tarnish.
After a while, I said "Screw the measurements" and went about it my way. I placed my tray on the foil, poured boiling water (from the stove) over them until they were covered and sprinkled baking soda on top. It worked so much better. The instant the baking so hits the water, it sizzles and fizzes. It also stinks. Really bad. It smelled like rotten eggs, so be warned.
After letting them soak for about 15 minutes, I would scrub a little, drain the water, and repeat the process a few more times. I think it is absolutely amazing how well they turned out. They are not perfect by any means, but at least they look silver again. And, they are both getting used. Who knows, I may actually invest in actual polish now.
The big tray is on my vanity and holds my face creams, perfume, etc.
The small tray is a collect-all in my living room.