How Do I Clean Tarnished Stainless Steel Cutlery?

clean-tarnished-stainless-steel-cutlery Credit: Adrian Weinbrecht/Stone/Getty Images

The most effective way to clean tarnished stainless steel cutlery is to soak it in a solution of hot water and ammonia. This two-hour process requires a bucket, hot water, soft towels, a microfiber cloth, latex gloves and a disposable filter mask.

  1. Mix the cleaning solution

    Fill a bucket with a gallon of very hot water, and set it in a well-ventilated work area. Put on latex gloves and a disposable filter mask, then add 1 tablespoon of ammonia to the bucket.

  2. Submerge the cutlery

    Submerge the cutlery in the hot ammonia solution, and leave it there for one hour. Remove your gloves and mask, but keep them nearby.

  3. Inspect the cutlery

    Put on your gloves and mask. Lift the cutlery out of the bucket, and inspect it. If it is still very tarnished, soak it for another hour. If most of the tarnish has disappeared, wipe the cutlery with a microfiber cloth dipped in the ammonia solution. Rub the tarnished spots until they vanish.

  4. Rinse with hot water

    Spread a large towel on a flat surface. Rinse the cutlery in hot running water, dry it with a hand towel, and set the pieces on the big towel. Give them 10 minutes to finish drying, then return them to their storage area.