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Homemade Silver Cleaner

Written by Paulo Martirez on Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Cleaning silver is hard work, and store-bought silver cleaner that appears to remove tarnish doesn't always work as promised. The following is a homemade silver cleaner that works very well to remove years of tarnish and grime.

This recipe makes 2 pints of homemade silver cleaner.

Ingredients and Materials:

• 2 cups of diatomaceous earth *
• 1 teaspoon of trisodium phosphate **
• 4 tablespoons of stearic acid +
• 1 teaspoon of washing soda ++
• 3 cups of water
• quart-size double boiler
• stirring stick
• heavy-duty rubber gloves
• face mask
• 2 pint jars with lids

* Diatomaceous earth can be found at larger garden centers.
** Trisodium phosphate, more commonly referred to as TSP can be found in most retail stores that sell paint products.
+ Stearic acid is used in candle making, and it can be bought in craft stores.
++ Washing soda is available in the laundry detergent isle at your local grocery store.

Warnings:

Never place stearic acid over direct heat. It is highly flammable and should always be heated over a double boiler that has been removed from heat and flame. In addition, diatomaceous earth should not be inhaled. Always wear a face mask when working with this product. Lastly, before handling trisodium phosphate and stearic acid, always put on a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves to avoid skin irritation.

Instructions:

1. Begin making this homemade cleaner by bringing water to a boil in a quart-size double boiler.
2. Remove the double boiler from the heat, and transfer it to a well-protected work surface.
3. Put on a pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves, and add 3 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of stearic acid to the inner pan of the double boiler.
4. Stir continuously until the stearic acid is completely melted.
5. Next, put on a face mask, and stir in the trisodium phosphate, washing soda, and diatomaceous earth until if forms a paste.
6. Transfer this homemade mixture into 2 clean jars, and allow it to cool completely before using it to clean and polish your silver.

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