Kitchen Witchery: Better Living Through Chemistry

Thrift stores have got to be one of my favorite places to find ritual items. Take, for example, this large silver Revere bowl that I picked up from Savers for $4.99. I’ve been after a new scrying vessel, and this certainly fit the bill. It just needed a little TLC.

Which (or witch!) brings us to today’s inaugural episode of Kitchen Witchery: Better Living Through Chemistry.  For this little bit of magic, you’re going to need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 1/2 c white vinegar (the cheap stuff)
  • 1T salt
  • 1T baking powder

Fair warning: this technique can pit or otherwise damage the silver, so you may want to try another cleaning method if you’re worried about your piece. But for a $5 thrift store find, I was willing to risk it.

Line the bowl with the foil, place the dry ingredients on top.

Ingredients, assemble!
Ingredients, assemble!

Add the vinegar. Fizzing will ensue.

Scrubbing bubbles?
Scrubbing bubbles?

Then add the boiling water. Finally, place your silver piece in the bowl so that it comes in contact with the foil. Leave it there for about 30 seconds and…


Presto! Tarnish-b-gone!

A bowl so shiny, you can see an elder god in it!
A bowl so shiny, you can see an elder god in it!

I had to dunk this bowl in several times since it was rather large, but it seems to have worked. I’ve also used this technique with silverware and jewelry. Just be sure to rinse your pieces well and buff them with a soft cloth when you’re done.

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