Polishing your silver can seem like a trivial task, but most silver polishes are actually extremely powerful and remove tarnish in minutes without much of a fuss. Plus, they leave a protective film behind that ensures that you likely will only have to undertake the task a few times per year.
We researched the best silver polishes on the market, evaluating them for their ease of use, application method, and overall value. Goddard's Silver Polish Foam is our favorite because it's easy to use and addresses tarnish, corrosion, rust, and other forms of aging without much elbow grease required.
Here are the best silver polishes for a blemish-free shine.
Best Overall: Goddard’s Silver Polish Foam
Who else recommends it? Bustle and Bob Vila both picked Goddard’s Silver Polish Foam.
What do buyers say? 92% of 1,300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Our top pick, Goddard’s Silver Polish Foam, comes with a soft, circular sponge applicator inside of the jar that gently works the fluffy, lightweight paste into a lather when water is added. Foam polish is especially useful in the case of elaborate pieces such as candlesticks or silver bells, since it clings to the surface without dripping. This paste is easily manipulated and quickly foams away tarnish, discoloration, and rust without much effort. It also leaves behind a protective barrier that prevents degradation in the long-term.
Goddard’s polish is kosher-certified, so feel free to use it on all of your serving pieces as well as your jewelry and decor. The jar holds 18 ounces of product, so you should be able to restore all of your silverware and still have plenty left over for years to come. The one downside to polish foam is that it can leave tarnish and staining on your hands, so we recommend wearing gloves while scrubbing this product into your silver pieces. Be sure to rinse out the sponge after you're done polishing your pieces and allow it to dry before storing it back in the container. With Goddard's Silver Polish Foam in your cleaning cupboard, you can be sure you will never be caught with tarnished silverware again.
Best All-Purpose: Weiman Silver Polish and Cleaner
Because Weiman’s Silver Polish and Cleaner works on a range of materials—from gold and copper to gemstones and platinum—it’s a great choice if you have a wide variety of valuables. All you need is a soft cloth to apply the watery substance to your silver.
You only need to use enough to lightly dampen the cloth, so the 8-ounce bottle should last for quite a while. It’s ammonia-free, so it is delicate and doesn’t have a strong odor. Like many of the others on this list, the formula leaves a protective film against future tarnish or scratches; however, it does seem to last a bit longer than some of the others, so it’s a great choice for silver that is used a lot.
Best for Jewelry: Simple Shine Complete Jewelry Cleaning Kit
Because our jewelry is always rubbing against our skin, sweat, skin oils, lotion, and perfume combined with the metal's surface will cause it to tarnish over time. Like the Hagerty Flatware Silver Dip, the Simple Shine Complete Jewelry Cleaning Kit comes with a basket so that you can submerge your jewelry in the product for two minutes, then pull it right out without getting it all over your hands. The solution is biodegradable, so it doesn’t utilize any harsh ingredients. It can be used on gold, palladium, platinum, sterling silver, stainless steel, gemstones, diamonds, and plenty of other materials that most other solutions don’t work on.
The kit comes with a double-sided cloth that you can use to rub away any lingering tarnish and buff out the silver when it’s dry for extra shine. You’ll also find a tiny brush that is helpful for getting into any nooks and crannies that the solution missed.
Best for Silverware: W. J. Hagerty Hagerty Flatware Silver Dip
This product’s one and only purpose is for cleaning silverware, so it is really good at it. The tube is about 9 inches tall and 3 inches wide, so it is the perfect size to fit a fork or two. It may sound tedious to not be able to dip your whole set at once, but the process is fast enough that you’ll be able to refresh every single piece in just a few minutes.
All you have to do is slip the flatware into the tube, leave it for ten seconds, pull out the basket, run it under the sink, then dry and buff it with a soft cloth. It’s so easy and convenient that you won’t even mind the strong odor emanating out of the jar. One of the biggest perks, though, is that the solution never leaves its container, so you’ll be able to reuse it again and again for years to come.
Best Cream: Wright's Silver Cleaner and Polish Cream
Because cream polish is a thicker, less runny material, it's a good choice for more complex silver pieces. Wright’s Silver Cleaner can easily be worked into tight crevices so that they shine just as brightly as the rest of the piece. Just rub it all over the silver using the enclosed sponge or a clean cloth, then use a soft-bristle brush for all of the detail work or tough tarnish spots.
The cleaner is kosher-approved, creates a scratch-resistant barrier, and will prevent your silver from tarnishing in the future. It’s also ammonia-free, so it won’t stink up the room when you open up the jar.
Even if you don’t have enough silver to warrant an 8-ounce jar of cleaner, you’ll probably use up the whole thing because it’s effective on a wide range of other common kitchen materials, from stainless steel and chrome to porcelain and pewter.
Best Wipes: Carbona Silver Wipes
Carbona Silver Wipes are a very convenient option for those who don't own enough silver to warrant a whole kit. They’re surprisingly effective considering how easy they are to use—all you have to do is rub the wipe all over the piece, then rinse off the residue in the sink. And they don’t just remove tarnish; they’ll actually prevent your silver from tarnishing in the future, so you probably won’t need to pull the pack out again for quite a bit.
Each of the 12 pre-moistened wipes are about the size of half a sheet of paper, so you should be able to use one wipe for a few pieces. They’re also effective on brass, copper, and gold, so they’re worth the purchase even if you don’t have an extensive silver collection. As an added bonus, the ingredients list is surprisingly short, so the wipes don’t have the harsh smells that many of the other products on this list have.
Best Cloth: Connoisseurs Ultrasoft Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloth
The Connoisseurs UltraSoft Silver Jewelry Polishing Cloth is the only product on this list that doesn’t rely on liquid to get the job done, so it’s a great tool for cleaning watches or other items that can’t get wet. Technically, this product is two cloths with different textures sewn together on one side: The light-purple fabric is for cleaning while the darker-purple, softer-looking fabric is for polish. The polishing side is infused with an odorless formula that will prevent your silver from tarnishing in the future.
Although it’s specifically designed for jewelry, this cloth can be used on all of your other silver or silver-plated items. Slightly bigger than a piece of paper, the cloth is large enough to handle bigger projects such as silver platters or tea sets. Perhaps the only drawback of this product is that you can’t clean the cloth itself or you’ll wash out the cleaning solution. Still, it will remain effective no matter how dirty it looks!
Best Brush: Simple Shine Horsehair Silver Brush Set
Brushes are an important tool for cleaning and polishing silver as they can provide a thorough scrubbing without scratching the delicate surface. This pair of brushes is made of horsehair, which is the only bristle soft enough to not damage the silver. The wooden handles are comfortable and are long enough to reach even the parts of the items that sponges or cloths can’t.
The detail brush's bristles are 0.5 inches tall and are skinny enough that you can really scrub in those nooks and crannies. The all-purpose brush's bristles are a bit taller and more substantial, so you can clean the rest of the piece without having to commit hours to doing so. They’re best paired with a cream or foam, but they can still be helpful for buffing out problem areas when you’re done wiping it down with a liquid polish.
Our top choice is Goddard’s Silver Polish Foam because of its rich lather that clings to the surface of silver and the soft, easy-to-manipulate sponge that is included in the jar. Weiman’s Silver Polish and Cleaner is a close runner-up because of its long-lasting protection as well as the fact that it works well on a wide variety of materials.
What to Look for in a Silver Polish
Ease of Use
Different silver polishes require different methods for getting your items back to their cleanest, most sparkling state. Some call for soft sponges, cloths, or gentle bristle brushes that allow you to get into those more intricate or hard-to-reach tarnish spots, while others are one-step wipes with no scrubbing or soaking necessary. Think about the mode of cleaning required when picking which silver polish is best for you—keeping in mind that some make it easy by including all the tools you need in one kit.
Check whether or not your silver polish is effective on more than just silver. Some polishes work well on materials like stainless steel, brass, copper, gold, and more, making them versatile enough for multiple uses across numerous valuables. Others may damage these materials, so check on each brand’s material compatibility—especially if you plan to polish more than a few items.
Some silver cleaners utilize harsh ingredients (like ammonia) to remove tarnish, while others opt for a gentler, more natural approach. Do your research to find out which silver polish is the least abrasive to your items, while still being effective.
How do you polish silver?
To polish silver, you want to either buy or make a cleaning agent that will reverse and remove the tarnished, oxidized, and dull outer layer to reveal the sparkling finish. To polish, place a small amount of your desired cleaning on a microfiber or polishing cloth, then gently rub the item in clean, vertical motions. Once you’ve removed the tarnish, rinse the item with lukewarm water and buff dry.
What can you use to polish silver?
Along with store-bought cleaners, you can also safely and effectively polish silver using a homemade mixture of half a cup of white vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda. Place your items in a bowl or container with this mixture, and leave them for an hour. Then, remove the silver pieces, rinse them and buff them with a clean, soft cloth. Similarly, you can also use aluminum foil and baking soda to polish silver. Start by placing your items in a container lined with aluminum foil, sprinkling them with baking soda, and pouring hot water over them before rinsing them and buffing them dry. Both methods are easy and effective if you want to skip the store-bought route.
What is silver polish made of?
Most silver cleaners use some form of sodium carbonate to reverse the sulfides that produce tarnishing. Even at-home methods use the same chemical reaction to remove this dull black layer and reveal the shiny silver underneath.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Emily Shwake, a freelance writer who has worked for The Spruce since 2020. She has written hundreds of posts about cleaning for sites such as BuzzFeed, Apartment Therapy, and Martha Stewart. Additional reporting was done by Mackenzie Dunn, a lifestyle writer and editor whose work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, HelloGiggles, Real Simple, MyDomaine, and more.