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Silver Polish Abrasion Ratings
Updated (9.27.2014)

Don't forget to read my Silver Care Guide!

Copper Polish Abrasion Ratings
Brass Polish Abrasion Ratings

You certainly wouldn't use an auto body grinder to polish your silver, so why are you using products that could do similar damage? It's because they remove tarnish at light speed, right? Well, it's time to stop ruining your sterling and silver-plated objects and start treating them with the love and respect they deserve. Below are the results of products tested in my workshop for tarnish removal. There are currently NO silver polishes on the market that are non-abrasive, though, many proclaim to be.

See how your polish rates among many others – you may be VERY surprised!


Non-Abrasive Cleaners

These products will only remove very light tarnish (see the results here) – I recommend using them on a cotton ball prior to using any silver polishes. Visit the Silver Care page for the use of each product.

• Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (phosphate-free, not lemon-scented)
• Purell Original Formula
• Method Glass & Surface (more environmentally-friendly than Windex)
• Windex Multi-Surface with Vinegar

* If none of the above cleaners work, try one of the polishes below on a moist cellulose sponge or cotton
ball using a light touch. Rotate the sponge or cotton ball regularly to expose unused surfaces.


Least Abrasive Silver Polishes

IMPORTANT! When removing tarnish, always invest more time using one of the least abrasive silver polishes in this section over getting quicker results with a more abrasive silver polish. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of tarnish removed from silver I work on is accomplished with either Earth Friendly Silver Polish or Blitz Silver Shine Polish.

Below: The right side of this 15" wide sterling high chair tray was polished with Earth Friendly Silver Polish. Polishing, rinsing, and drying time: 2 minutes.

• Earth Friendly Silver Polish (rinse and dry, maintains original finish, no protection)
        Best of the non-tarnish-protective polishes.
• Blitz Silver Shine Polish (rinse and dry or let dry and buff, brightens & protects – if I had used Blitz Silver Shine Polish on the tray above, the polished side would look a bit glossier because of its tarnish-protective ingredient).
        Best of the tarnish-protective polishes.
• 3M Tarni-Shield Silver Polish (rinse and dry, brightens & protects)
• Twinkle Silver Polish (rinse and dry, brightens & protects)

For purchasing information, go to Resources for Silver Care Products.


Mildly Abrasive Silver Polishes

• Goddard's Silver Polish Liquid (rinse and dry, brightens & protects)
• Goddard's Silver Polish Foam (rinse and dry, brightens & protects)
• Town Talk Silver Polish (rinse and dry, brightens & protects)
• Weiman Silver Polish (rinse and dry or let dry and buff, brightens & protects)

For purchasing information, go to Resources for Silver Care Products.


Fairly Abrasive Silver Polishes

• Hagerty's Silversmiths' Wash (rinse and dry, brightens & protects)
• Wright's Silver Cream (rinse and dry, brightens, no protection)

For purchasing information, go to Resources for Silver Care Products.


* If none of the above products work, contact me. Do NOT use any of the products below!


Warning: Severely Abrasive Products – Do Not Use!


   

The below products are so agressive they may even cut through silver plate to the base metal. Some are as abrasive as 0000 steel wool – seriously!

ALL products that have "metal polish" in their name are much too harsh. Oxidized brass, copper, 
and especially aluminum require greater abrasion for successful results. Silver requires its own 
special polish to more gently accomplish this job. Stay away from the following products:

• 3M Scotch-Brite pads
• Baking soda
• Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths
• Cleansers
• Felt
• Flitz Polish
• Howard's Pine-Ola Silver Polish
• Ketchup: Though it's non-abrasive and does remove very light tarnish, ketchup is extremely 
   acidic and may gradually etch and dull silver. You will then have to use one of the polishes above 
   to brighten the surface.
• Maas
• Nevr-Dull Magic Wadding Polish
• Noxon
• Polishing gloves (from constant build-up of particulate that will scratch your silver)
• Pre-Lim (better for removing rust from steel)
• Simichrome Metal Polish
• Silvo
• Soft Scrub
• Stainless steel cleaners
• Toothbrushes (use one of these natural bristle brushes instead)
• Toothpaste (virtually all brands)
• Weiman Silver Wipes
• Wenol Metal Polish

Chemical Tarnish Removers (These are just a few of the products that will absolutely ruin the original finish on solid silver and silver-plate. They also allow tarnish to form more quickly.) Read about these dips here.

• Ellanar Dip Instant Silver Cleaner
• Empire's Instant Tarnish Remover
• Goddard's Silver Dip
• Hagerty Silver Dip
• Medallion Care Tarnish Treatment
• Midas Silver Tarnish-Off
• ShineBrite Silver Dip
• Tarn-X
• Weiman Instant Tarnish Remover
• Wright's Instant Tarnish Remover


Copper Polish Abrasion Ratings
(Updated 4.22.13)

Regarding ketchup: Though it's non-abrasive and does remove very light tarnish, ketchup is extremely acidic and may gradually etch and dull copper. You will then have to use one of the polishes below to brighten the surface. The polishes below are not meant to be used on lacquered copper!

 Rated 1-3 (1 being least abrasive).

 • Abrasivness rating: 1
        Blitz Copper Shine Polish (rinse and dry, maintains original finish, no protection)

• Abrasivness rating: 2
       Pin-Ola Copper & Brass Polish (rinse and dry, maintains original finish, no protection)
       * Extremely acidic and may gradually dull copper.

• Abrasivness rating: 3 (Surprising since Twinkle's silver polish is extremely mild.)
       Twinkle Copper Cleaner (rinse and dry, brightens & protects)


Brass Polish Abrasion Ratings
(Updated 11.27.13)

 The polishes below are not meant to be used on lacquered brass!

 Rated 1-3 (1 being least abrasive).

 • Abrasivness rating: 1
        Blitz Brass Shine Polish (rinse and dry, maintains original finish, no protection)

• Abrasivness rating: 2
       Wright's Brass Polish (rinse and dry, maintains original finish, no protection)
       * Warning! Wear a respirator made to protect against extreme ammonia vapors!

• Abrasivness rating: 3
       Pin-Ola Copper & Brass Polish (rinse and dry, maintains original finish, no protection)


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