How to Clean Nickel Silver

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Nickel Silver, also known as German Silver, came into existence in the 19th century. It is not an actual silver form but a collective mixture of nickel, zinc, and copper. The blend by the metalworkers of Germany brought in an appearance of Silver on this material.

With its creation, it gave many objects the appeal of Silver at a lower cost. Musical instruments, standard cutlery, and other such things use nickel-silver over them. But, to maintain these nickel-silver objects, there was a demand for cleaning them on a timely basis!

How to Clean Nickel Silver

Knowing the right approach for cleaning a nickel silver object is essential. It is because inappropriate techniques will damage the integrity of nickel silver material. And that is something that will deteriorate its appeal as well.

Nickel silver gear with screws

Therefore, to maintain the shine & appeal of Silver over this material, you must be aware of your options to clean it. Hence, this guide is here to help you learn how to clean nickel silver with diverse possibilities.

Here are the 5 methods on how to clean nickel silver:

  • Cleaning Nickel Silver Objects With a Polishing Kit
  • Cleaning the Nickel Silver Objects With Baking Soda
  • Cleaning the Nickel Silver Objects With Vinegar
  • Cleaning Stubborn Stains With Corn Starch
  • Cleaning Light Stains With Mild Soap

Method 1: Cleaning Nickel Silver Objects With a Polishing Kit

The first method should always be the easiest of all. Therefore, if you intend to clean the nickel silver objects with the help of a polishing kit, you must be aware of the steps to implement it. The steps include:

  1. Get the Nickel Silver polishing kit from any online or offline store.
  2. Now, you need to ensure that the surface of the object is dry.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe out any loose dust or debris from the surface.
  4. Now, take off the canister of the polishing kit, and apply a little bit of that cream onto a clean and soft cloth.
  5. Now, buff the nickel silver object with that cloth.
  6. Ensure to keep a circular motion while buffing the material. It will help in spreading the polish cream in a uniform motion.
  7. It would help if you continued the buffing motion until you find any black residues showing up on the surface of the object. In fact, you need to buff it for around 15-30 seconds to see these residues.
  8. Now, take a different polishing cloth and gently remove all those residues from the nickel silver surface.
  9. You can then store it as per your desires. But if the nickel silver object is cutlery and will contact food, you should clean it again with soapy water. When the cleaning is over, you can just dry it with the use of a soft cloth and place it back in the cutlery section.
Close-Up shot of fancy nickel silver ring

Method 2: Cleaning the Nickel Silver Objects With Baking Soda

This method is all about using a household ingredient, baking soda, for cleaning the nickel silver objects. It will help you save quite a lot of money on buying commercial polishing agents or cleaners.

But, it would be best if you still used baking soda with the correct proportions to get clean results. The steps are as follows:

  1. If you have some dark stains over your nickel silver objects, then baking soda & water solution is ideal for cleaning them.
  2. In your kitchen, you must be having baking soda, as it is used for food. Moreover, baking soda is also an important cleaning agent for most scenarios.
  3. You need to mix baking soda and water in a 1:1 ratio. It means that you need to maintain the balance of the mixture to prepare the cleaning solution or paste.
  4. Now, you just need to rub the paste over the nickel silver object in a continuous circular motion.
  5. Apply a bit of vigorous rubbing force upon the textured areas (if any). Make sure you use a microfiber cloth for the purpose here.
  6. After the rubbing and scrubbing step is over, you must wash the item with only warm water.
  7. Wash it thoroughly to remove the remnants of baking soda paste. Now, dry it again with the soft lint-free cloth to revive the lost shine of the nickel silver object.
Man cleaning the kettle with fire

Method 3: Cleaning the Nickel Silver Objects With Vinegar

Most of the nickel silver objects often experience an unappealing look due to calcium deposits over them. These deposits on the nickel silver objects are known as lime-scale. And the best way of treating such calcium deposits is with the use of vinegar and water solution.

The steps for implementing the same are:

  1. Prepare the white vinegar and water solution in a 1:1 ratio. Mix equal parts of water and vinegar, depending on the number or size of objects you intend to clean.
  2. Now, please make use of a soft cloth, and dip it in the water-vinegar solution.
  3. The next step is to rub and scrub the lime-scale areas over the nickel silver objects with this vinegar solution.
  4. When you are over with the cleaning or scrubbing step, you need to rinse the object with warm water. Rinse it thoroughly to remove all the vinegar or cleaning solution remnants from the surface.
  5. Make use of a microfiber cloth to ensure that you dry the object entirely before you can use it or store it.

If the calcium deposits are too robust and the vinegar-water mix alone is insufficient to clean them out, then add around 15g of corn starch to the solution. And now, repeat the whole process. You will see a clean and shiny nickel silver object!

Method 4: Cleaning Stubborn Stains With Corn Starch

Corn Starch is proficient in cleaning calcium deposits and is also an ideal cleaning agent for stubborn stains. Here are the steps to help you prepare this solution and use it:

  1. You need to prepare the solution with a ratio of 1:3. It means that you have to add 1 part of corn starch to 3 parts water.
  2. You will then need a clean cloth to soak it in the solution.
  3. When you have soaked it well, just lay it down over the stained area of the nickel silver object.
  4. Let the cloth settle down for around 3 minutes over the stain.
  5. Now, please take off the cloth and keep it aside!
  6. Rinse the nickel silver object with clean water. Rinse it thoroughly to ensure that no solution remnants are left behind.
  7. After rinsing, it is time to dry out the object with a soft and clean cloth. And, your nickel silver object is clean as new!
Close-Up shot of corn starch in a cup

Method 5: Cleaning Light Stains With Mild Soap

If you intend to keep a regular habit of cleaning the nickel silver objects, then there is less chance that you will need any robust cleaning solution. Therefore, a basic mild soap cleaning will be sufficient for light staining on the nickel silver object. Here are steps for the same:

  1. Make arrangements for a bowl of warm water and mix it up with a mild soap solution.
  2. Use a cloth and dip it with the mild soap solution.
  3. Now scrub the cloth gently over the stained part of the nickel silver object.
  4. Continue to scrub it until you get the stain out of the surface.
  5. Now, rinse it with clean water thoroughly.
  6. Use a soft cloth, preferably lint-free, to dry out the nickel silver objects.

Check out this YouTube video where a man is cleaning the nickel silver gongs with ideal household cleaning measures. It is just one object, but you can use these steps and the ones in the video to clean all the other objects in their respective ways.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Remove Tarnish From the Nickel Silver Objects?

Yes, you can remove tarnish from the nickel silver object with the use of any brass detergent. You just need to leave the thing in a container filled with brass detergent and water mixture. And then you need to let it settle for around a few minutes.

Cutlery on the dish rack

It is to let the detergent remove all the tarnish from the nickel silver objects.

Now, you can make use of a soft cloth for polishing the object with a commercial polishing agent. Let the thing dry to revive its shine and appeal. To know more about how tarnish adversely affects metals, you can go through this informative content.

In Which Objects Are Nickel Silver Mostly Used?

Nickel silver is mainly used in the food & beverage industry, kitchen cutlery industries, musical instruments, and home improvement industries. To know what items these industries manufacture with nickel silver, you can read this article.


So, put an end to your search for professionals to take care of your nickel silver objects. You might have some decorative items, spoons, coins, and other such essentials at your home that are now dull over time.

So, you can adopt appropriate measures to clean your nickel silver objects in the comfort of your home. It will help you revive the lost shine of those products to make them look new and appealing.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.