I love silver things and dislike very much how they get all oxidized and blackish when you don't pay attention to them. I also do not like how the stuff that is made to re-shine up the silver is probably something similar to uranium for being carcinogenic. I can't say for sure, but the stench of such stuff does make me wonder.
So for the last while, I've decided it was much easier to just ignore my little silver tea set (that I totally scored at a garage sale but love quite a lot). In the cabinet it sat. Sad and oxidizing. Dang oxygen, what is it good for anyway? Oh. Yeah. That.
I was looking through the pages of that totally vintage book, The Compendium of Cookery and Reliable Recipes (written in 1890). The recipes in it are (from what I've seen) just splendid. In the back of this book is a giant pile of interesting-ness. They have everything from "how to raise your child" to "how to tan leather" to "how to fix a hole in your wood stove" and "how to make your eyelashes grow longer" (their idea is to rub mercury on your eyelids...um...gonna pass on that one).
One thing that did stand out to me was their home recipe to make a silver polish. (It did not include mercury so I read further.) It was a simple mix and I was interested to see how well it would work. Here's the recipe:
Dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt in a cup of vinegar. Add flour to make a paste. Rub on silver, wait fifteen minutes, wash off using hot soapy water.
Dude. It totally works.
I was blobbing up the goo, slapping it on all the nooks and crannies and using a toothbrush for fun. I saw the dark oxidation disappearing! Maybe there is some horrible chemical reaction that I don't know about that goes on with that, but so far I am still living.
I am so glad it worked. Now I have shiny, beautiful silver without the death stench.
Onward and upward, my friends!
Peace, love and would you take a look at that shine?!