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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.


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.


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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