Some tips for cleaning silver-plated items are to be cautious when scrubbing silver with abrasive substances, such as baking soda or toothpaste, as they can damage the silver, and to be patient while cleaning and polishing the silver to achieve the best results. Ketchup, corn starch, hand sanitizer, window cleaner and vinegar are acceptable solutions with which to clean silver-plated items. The safest way to achieve good results is to use specially designed silver cleaning solutions.
Rub a small amount of ketchup onto the silver-plated surface using a paper towel and allow the ketchup to sit for up to 15 minutes if necessary. Use a soft cloth to wipe away the ketchup and rinse the piece to remove tarnish. The same process works when using a paste-like mixture of corn starch or cream of tartar and water. Hand sanitizer produces good results when used as a silver polish and only a small amount is necessary. Use a soft cloth and rub the hand sanitizer onto the silver-plated piece to remove tarnish and make it shine.
Another method for cleaning silver and silver-plated pieces is to bring 1 tablespoon of baking soda, a sheet of aluminum foil and a liter of water to a boil. Drop the silver piece into the solution for about 10 seconds and remove it using tongs. To avoid permanent damage, don't allow the piece to soak for long periods of time.