On cleaning silver: a competition between natural and synthetic agents

ketchup to clean silver

This one’s fun. I needed to clean a bunch of cast sterling silver knots, and for some reason, cast silver always looks oxidised without me ever doing anything. But anyway, I had tomato ketchup because we wanted some for a chippy the other day, and I had brasso. I’d heard of people using tomato ketchup for cleaning silver jewellery before because the acids in it gets rid of the oils and grime, or something like that. So I thought I’d give it a shot. And guess what, it actually works!

ketchup as a cleaning agent for silver

The top pile is the original, the lower left are knots cleaned with ketchup, and the right are knots cleaned with brasso.

Here’s how I used it:
Cover entire pile of knots with ketchup, shaking to make sure it’s fully covered. Leave for half an hour, and wash with water after. That’s it!

Just note that as I mentioned earlier, cast silver often comes out darker than the polished silver we usually see. So this experiment would probably turn out different with them than with these cast knots that I used.