The Best Silver Polishers

Don’t let tarnished metal dull the mood of your fancy fête. We test five easy-to-find products to see which really shined.

Weiman Silver Polish (The Winner)

Price

$5.30 at Central Market

The Product

The solution has the consistency of lotion and comes in a squeeze bottle. No applicator is included, so you’ll need a rag for application and a dry one for buffing.

The Process

We vigorously applied a dime-sized amount of polish to the tarnished items, and the rag immediately came back black. We repeated the process for 15 minutes, then buffed the pieces with a clean rag. The product was relatively mess-free, but we did go through a decent amount. And while a towel made for easy application and accessibility to nooks and crannies, we didn’t love that it ruined our towel. 

The Results

By far the best. Even our most stubborn pieces were restored to a lustrous sheen.

Verdict

Pretty darn perfect—though it will take some time and elbow grease to get there. 

Connoisseurs Silver Wipes

Price

$7 at Bed Bath & Beyond

The Product

Ten disposable wipes that feel dry to the touch.  

The Process

Per the instructions, we wet the silver pieces and then rubbed with the wipes to remove the tarnish. It took about 13 minutes and three wipes to clean all three pieces. Absolutely no mess.

The Results

Though the cleanliness and shine weren’t equal to Weiman, the results were more than passable for a dinner party, especially considering the ease of use.

Verdict

Great for a quick touch-up before your dinner guests arrive. 

Hagerty Flatware Silver Dip

Price

$14 at Bed Bath & Beyond

The Product

A cylindrical canister containing an inner basket for fetching items from the (foul-smelling) liquid cleaning agent. 

The Process

We simply dropped flatware into the container then removed using the inner basket. But we had to pour the solution into a bowl to dip larger pieces. The directions instruct you to leave the silver in the solution for no more than 10 seconds, so we promptly removed the pieces, rinsed them, and dried them with a cloth. Strictly following the directions, it’s the fastest…

The Results

…but it was also the least effective. Not only were the pieces not particularly clean, they were also left with a cloudy, yellowish tint—and that unpleasant smell.

Verdict

Limiting design. Bad smell. Worse results. 

Hammacher Schlemmer Plate 

Price

$30 at hammacher.com

The Product

The starter kit contains a thin, 8-inch-by-5.5-inch metal plate and a bag of activator powder (more can be purchased as necessary). 

The Process

We washed the pieces using hot, soapy water, as instructed, then plugged our kitchen sink, set the plate inside, and poured boiling water atop. We added a tablespoon of the activator, which left the water cloudy, then dropped in our silver. It was hard to see if the pieces were touching the plate and harder still to maneuver them due to the cloudy, scorching water. After the recommended 30 seconds, we removed the silver before rinsing and buffing dry. 

The Results

Though the pieces looked underwhelming upon removal from the water, once we buffed them with a cloth, they came out fairly clean and shiny.

verdict

If you have a lot of silver to polish, this would certainly make for the fastest work. 

Goddard’s Silver Polish Foam

Price

$12 at Bed Bath & Beyond

The Product

A tub of reddish, putty-like cleaning product
with a sponge applicator. 

The Process

We dampened the applicator and rubbed some of the product onto the silver pieces, working it into a lather. When the sponge blackened, we were able to rinse it, wring it out, and continue. After working on the pieces for about 13 minutes, we rinsed and dried them. Though the sponge applicator wasn’t the easiest tool in small nooks and crevices, it worked fairly well overall. We barely made a dent in the product, and the provided applicator kept us from ruining our towels.

The Results

Decent. The silver wasn’t spotless but certainly much improved. And this edged out the Connoisseur wipes when it came to shine. 

Verdict

Decent performer, and one tub will last you practically a lifetime.

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