Cleaning Tips + Tricks


ketchup silver

A few years ago, I heard someone mention that ketchup can restore tarnished silver. Apparently, the acidity of the tomatoes reacts with the oxidizing of the tarnished silver making it come back to life, all sparkly and new. Now, I have to admit, I was really skeptical. I researched the theory online and found mixed results, so I decided to give it a try myself.

Here’s what I did: I squeezed ketchup on a soft cloth (I used a flour sack) and liberally rubbed the ketchup on the silver in a circular motion – making sure I got it into all of the nooks and crannies. I let it sit for about 13(ish) minutes, then rinsed the ketchup off with warm water and dried the pitcher with another soft cloth. *If you decide to test out this theory yourself, make sure youΒ test-drive the ketchup cleaner on an inconspicuous place on your silver piece.

Pretty good results, right? Yeah, the dark areas stayed the same, but the rest of the tarnished areas are very much improved.Β So maybe it works for slight tarnishing, but if you haven’t cleaned your silver for years, it might be time to break out the Tarnex.

Have you tried this theory before? Did it work for you? Have any other silver-cleaning tips?

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Toothpaste also cleans silver really well. And since it’s generally thicker than ketchup, you don’t have to use as much of it.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Awesome tip! Who knew?!

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I’m not much of a ketchup person, and we rarely even keep it in the house. But this is such a great natural cleaning option. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    My mom was always a Tarnex user. She also kept her silver in bags especially made for silver which would keep them from tarnishing. I want to see her face when I tell het about the ketchup:)

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Did it make your silver smell like ketchup? I hate that smell!

    Also – are you excited about the Duncan family’s new house on Good Luck Charlie? I hope they have the same set designer!

    • Reply
      April 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Nope, I just made sure I rinsed it really, really well. Though the kitchen smelled like ketchup for a little bit. I hate that smell too! But I opened a window and lit a candle to get the smell out of the room, haha.

      I didn’t know about the new Good Luck Charlie house!! Can’t wait to see it! Ditto on the set designer.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Awesome tip! Looks a little gross though…

    What also works is aluminum foil (laid out in your sink) and salt (spill generously on the foil). Then add hot water (not boiling) and soak your silver pieces. Let sit for a bit, maybe 15 to 30 minutes or so. The salt reacts with the aluminum in the foil and somehow ‘eats’ the tarnish away (I am sure scientifically it can be explained). Rinse and dry. Dont’ let it soak for too long b/c it will damage your silver! It will also eat into the foil and make holes. But it works really well, even for heavily tarnished pieces.

    • Reply
      April 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Great tip! I’ll have to try it out.
      And yes, it really does look gross! haha

  • Reply
    April 25, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Beautiful pitcher, where is it from?

    • Reply
      April 25, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Thanks! It’s from an antique store in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I use toothpaste! In fact I’ve never actually bought a product specifically for cleaning silver. It has always worked great for me!

  • Leave a Reply