Silver polishing cloths cannot be washed. They contain cleaning and anti-tarnish chemicals that wash away during laundering. When a cloth becomes covered with tarnish, it is thrown away.
Silver polishing cloths are cotton cloths with integrated polishing chemicals. Rubbing the cloths over silver removes tarnish and polishes the item. Fabric bags made of a similar material are available for storing silver items. The cloth keeps the oxidation that causes tarnish from occurring. Silver polishing cloths work best for large silver items and silver items that are displayed, such as picture frames. Smaller pieces and jewelry are easy to polish by immersing them in a liquid silver cleaner.