Did Your Silver Survive A House Fire? 4 Steps For Cleaning Them

If you have a fire in your home, the smoke can permeate everything. Nothing is safe, even things that you had stored away in drawers. Thankfully, more valuable items made of out of silver can be cleaned instead of replaced. Follow these steps to learn how to remove the soot and restore the silver's beauty.

Gather Tools and Materials

You'll need a few items to clean your silver. Some you probably have in your home already, while others you'll need to purchase. Many of them can be found at your local grocery store. 

  • Two plastic tubs
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
  • Silver polish
  • Soft cloth
  • Aluminum pot
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton swabs

Remove Any Residue on Your Silver

Start by filling one of your plastic tubs with some dish soap and warm water, using just as much as you'd need to wash some dirty dishes. Fill your other tub with warm water without any soap in it. Soak your sponge, then gently rub down your silver. Rinse the silver off in the plain warm water tub. It's normal for the tub of water to turn black from the soot that has rubbed off the silver.

You will want to repeat this step until your water in the tubs is no longer black. This means that you have removed all of the soot from the silver. You can use paper towels to dry the silver when finished.

Soak Your Silver

Fill your aluminum pot with water, and add baking soda (1/2 cup) to the pot. Let the silver soak in your pot, and your baking soda will start to froth. Remove your silver once the frothing ends. This step will help remove the tarnish on the silver, so repeat it as necessary until you see that almost all of the tarnish has been removed.

Polish Your Silver

Apply silver polish to a soft cloth, and then gently rub the polish into your silver. It helps to use cotton swabs to get inside intricate designs and crevices of the silver. Try not to use a lot of pressure when polishing. You want to rub gently so that it doesn't remove a layer of silver when removing the tarnish. You should repeat this process until you are happy with the finish.

If you do not feel confident that you can restore your silver on your own, hire a fire damage restoration company to help. They have the experience with restoring all kinds of items, and it will ensure that it is done without ruining your silver.