Silver objects tend to take on a dark, dull colour over time. This colouration is nothing more than the creation of silver sulphide on the surface of the object. Today, we will see how make a homemade silver polisher very efficient and easy to do, with which we can leave our silver objects shiny.
- An obscured silver object.
- A large deep plate.
- Aluminium foil.
- Hot water.
- Sodium bicarbonate.
Creating our silver polisher
To begin with, we line the inside of the deep dish with the aluminium foil, so that liquid can be contained on this surface. Once this is done, we place the silver object on this aluminium surface and leave it in a safe place, such as a table.
Now, we heat water in a pot until it boils and once it reaches boiling point, we turn off the flame and place the pot in a sink, we must be careful not to grab the pot with our hands as it is hot and we could burn ourselves.
Once we have the pot in the sink, we proceed to add baking soda to the water, maintaining the ratio of one cup of baking soda to one gallon of water. We must be careful and do it little by little, as it will generate a lot of effervescent foam.
Quickly, we take the mixture of water and hot baking soda in the dish where the darkened silver object is on the aluminum foil, we add the liquid mixture until it completely covers the silver object and we leave it to act for a few minutes, we will see that the silver sulphide dissipates and the silver will be clean and shiny.
How it works
The operation of this polisher is based on the creation of a reverse reaction to the creation of the silver sulphide. In this way, the sulphide will be consumed and the silver will remain intact, unlike the polishing process, which usually takes away part of the silver.
The elimination of the silver sulphide is realised because the aluminium reacts with the sulphur to generate other components. To do this effectively, the sodium bicarbonate solution allows the sulphur atoms to travel from the surface of the object to the surface of the aluminium efficiently, acting as a catalyst to generate aluminium sulphide. This reaction is a traditional example of electrochemistry and is an interesting application to the electrical potential difference of the elements.