Using the right silver polish is an important step in keeping your silver looking shiny and new. Depending on the silver cleaner you use, it may or may not remove all of the tarnish. There are many different types of silver polishes, including sprays and wipes. Some cleaners contain chemicals that can damage your silver, so be careful when using them.
The best silver polish is one that cleans your pieces and contains an anti-tarnish agent. It is safe for sterling silver, plated silver and jewelry, as well as antiques and flatware. It is also non-toxic. The cleaning agent is often a mild abrasive that helps to remove the tarnish from the surface of your silver. The abrasive in instant silver polish formulations may be any type of hard, water-insoluble material such as charcoal, chalk, rouge, tripoli, pumice, brick, yellow ocher, flint or silica. It is preferable to use an abrasive with a particle size of less than 5 microns.
Another nontoxic way to clean silver is to use toothpaste. Put a small amount of toothpaste on a soft cloth, such as a microfibre cleaning cloth or an old T-shirt. Rub the cleaner on your silver, taking care to get into crevices and designs. Leave the cleaner on for two or three minutes, then rinse and dry your silver. Store it in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. This technique is especially effective for items that aren’t used very often.