Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Removing Tarnish From Stainless Steel Cutlery, Naturally!

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Stainless steel cutlery is tough and durable, and looks great when it is all shiny and gleaming. Unfortunately, everyday things like dishwasher detergent can easily cause staining. To avoid this, most manufacturers recommend that you remove the cutlery from the dishwasher as soon as the cleaning cycle finishes and buff it dry it with a tea towel. As a busy parent, I always ignore this and shove the cutlery straight back in the drawer.

Consequently, a lot of my knives, forks and spoons have developed a sort of dull blue tarnish:

Fortunately, I have now found a way to clean stainless steel cutlery naturally so that it looks as good as new again. And best of all, it takes very little effort!

You will need:

Baking dish
Aluminium foil
Baking soda

Step one. Line a baking dish (or similar) with aluminium foil. Place the cutlery on it so that the maximum surface area possible is making contact with the foil. If you have a lot of tarnished cutlery, it is best to do this over several sessions, doing just a few items at a time.

Step two. Sprinkle a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of baking soda over the cutlery.

Step three. Boil a kettle and pour enough water over the cutlery to completely submerge it. Leave it to soak for around half an hour.

Step four. Remove the cutlery and carefully buff it dry with a clean cloth. It will now look like new.

Here is the same spoon that I showed at the start of this post. There is absolutely no sign of the tarnish left on it!

And just in case you are skeptical that a bit of aluminium foil and salt can really work as an effective cleaning agent, here is an "after" pic of the foil. As you can see, the tarnish from the stainless steel has transferred onto the foil.

So I now have a drawer full of shiny cutlery again...

Sadly, I can't say that I'm going to change my ways and buff my cutlery every time I remove it from the dishwasher. But at least now when it starts looking a bit sad and dull, I know there is a quick and easy fix to get it sparkling again.


  1. I also use this method to clean the stainless steel racks of my oven except that I line my deep laundry tubs with foil. Magic!

    1. Genius! I am *so* trying that. Thanks for the tip. :)

  2. Amazing! If I can't do this on a regular basis, it's good to know for when company comes. I'm so pinning this!

  3. Great idea, Angela. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Just found your blog and love it. I learned about this from my granny, even works for silver cutlery, and brass! Nice to find another vinegar & baking soda fan ;)


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