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How to Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver

Ever wonder how to remove tarnish and polish silver? In today’s #AskaHouseCleaner Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru gives you a Tarn-x product review. Complete with Angela Brown cleaning, an SDS breakdown and Savvy Cleaner Approved polishing tips.

It’s true, you can remove tarnish and polish silver with CLR Brands Tarn-x.  Your clients don’t know how to clean silver and if you offer silver polishing at home it’s a great upsell.

This Tarnx #ProductReview will teach you step-by-step how to remove tarnish and polish silver.

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How to Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Tarn-x Product Review

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How to Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Tarn-x Product Review


How do you remove tarnish from silver? How do you polish silver? Those are great questions, and we’re going to talk about that today. Hi there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

House Cleaners Upsell Silver Polishing as an Add-On Service

Now, there are lots of house cleaners that upsell special services. Sometimes the customer’s request special services, like polishing silver. And they expect the house cleaner to know about the various silver tarnish removal products on the market.

Now, there are a variety of different ways to polish silver. Today we’re going to talk about one of them. The one that we’re going to talk about uses a product called Tarn-X.

Now, Tarn-X is the number one bestselling product on the market for removing tarnish from silver. The reason it’s the number one is that it’s been around for over 50 years, and it’s well known.

It’s available in most drugstores and stores like Lowe’s and Walmart. And it retails for $5 to $6 for a bottle 12 oz.

Don’t Judge a Product You Haven’t Tried

TarnX_TarnishRemover_12ozI can’t say if this is the right product for you. I want you to decide that for yourself, but we will go over the SDS breakdown, and then I will show you how to use it. Then you can make a decision for yourself. But if a customer asks you, “Can you polish my silver?” I want you to at least have this option in your back pocket.

Tarn-x – A Heavy Duty Chemical for Heavy Metals

All right, the first thing that we need to be aware of is that there are two types of metals. The first type is a heavy metal. Heavy metal is determined on its density and its chemical behavior. Heavy metals are gold, silver, platinum, and copper.

There are lighter metals, like magnesium, aluminum, and titanium, and we’re only going to use the Tarn-X on the heavy metals. This is a heavy chemical for heavy metals.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for Tarn-x

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Safety Data Sheets HolderEvery single company, by law, has to have a safety data sheet available. This one is available to you, and it hides nothing. The first thing is, who is the company behind it?

 

 

 

SDS Info - Identification Savvy Cleaner Spacer

Company Info – Jelmar Inc. (CLR Brands)

CLR Brands - Jelmar IncThe company is Jelmar Inc. They’re a 50-year-old company, and now it’s the third generation, and it’s run by Alison, who’s the daughter. It’s a woman-owned company now, so boo-yah. It’s also the same company that creates CLR, which is a calcium, lime, and rust remover, which is also a strong chemical.

SDS Hazards Warning Savvy Cleaner SpacerHazard Identifications

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Hazards IdentificationAll right, the hazards are clearly marked on the back label of the jar. If you buy the jar, and you forget about the SDS sheets, everything you need to know to stay safe is on the back label of the container.

I’m happy about that, and proud of Jelmar for actually being honest in their advertising.

SDS Composition Ingredients Savvy Cleaner SpacerIngredients & Composition of Tarn-x

The product does have sulfamic acid in it, and that is a changing agent that becomes explosive when mixed with other chemicals.

Now, in this form, it’s okay to use, but we do not want to mix Tarn-X with any other polishing agents or any other chemicals.

Another agent present is thiourea. And that is an organic compound, which is like urea, but it has instead of an oxygen atom, it has been swapped out with a sulfur atom.

SDS First Aid Savvy Cleaner SpacerFirst Aid Measures for Tarn-x

All right, now for the first aid measures. We want to protect our eyes, our nose, our mouth, and our skin when using this product. It can be irritating to any of those, so we want to protect ourselves.

We will use personal protective equipment while we do the polishing.

SDS Fire Safety Savvy Cleaner SpacerFire Fighting Measures

The next thing, firefighting measures. It is not flammable by itself, but if you mix it with other things like I mentioned before, it can become explosive.

SDS Accidental Release Spills Savvy Cleaner SpacerAccidental Release – If You Spill Tarn-x

All right, accidental releases. If it spills, there are no special rules for cleaning it up. You can just use a damp cloth or a sponge. So that’s easy, right?

SDS Storage Savvy Cleaner SpacerProper Handling and Storage of Tarn-x

Tarn-x is a chemical that needs to be stored in a cool dry place and away from heat, and you want to keep the lid on at all times.

You want to keep it airtight and away from children and pets.

SDS Exposure Personal Protection Savvy Cleaner SpacerExposure Controls & PPE

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Personal Protective EquipmentWe do want to use this in a ventilated area.

The next thing that we want to talk about is our personal protective equipment. (PPE)

This falls under the exposure controls. Now, we want to protect ourselves, because we’re a house cleaner, and we get to interact with lots of chemicals on a day-to-day basis.

Now, because of the nature of the product, we’re not going to be doing a lot of silver polishing. It’s a special project. Still, we are going to protect ourselves, and here’s how we’re going to do it.

Face Mask – PPE

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver face mask.35-minThe first thing that we’re going to do is, we’re going to put on our mask. This mask just goes over your ears, and you pinch it at the top so that it closes this space at the top, and then you pull it down over your chin.

This is the proper way to wear this unit. We’re going to wear this, just to protect our mouths and our breathing from fumes.

Disposable Gloves – PPE

We’re also going to wear gloves. These are just nitrile gloves, and they’re disposable gloves. And we’re going to use them just in case any of the mixtures comes in contact with our hands. Again, it says to protect your skin. These disposable gloves will allow us to do that.

Safety Glasses – PPE – Optional

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver safety gogglesNow, it doesn’t say anything about eye protection, but I’m going to wear mine just the same.

That way if anything splashes up in my face, I’ve got my mask on, and I’ve got my goggles on, and this protects my eyes. This is optional, but I do recommend it.

Apron – PPE – Optional

The next thing that is optional, that I also recommend, is my apron. The reason I do this is it protects my uniform in case anything should splash on me as well.

SDS Physical - Chemical Properties Savvy Cleaner SpacerPhysical and Chemical Properties

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Tarn-x is clear liquidWhat you’re looking for in this dark Tarn-x container is something that looks like water. It’s clear, with a slight haze to it, and it has a strong chemical odor.

When you pour it out, that’s what you’re expecting?

SDS Stability - Reactivity Savvy Cleaner SpacerReactivity & Stability

It’s stable under all conditions, except if you mix it with something else, and if you do, it becomes a completely different product. So, do not mix this with anything else.

SDS Toxicity Sickness Savvy Cleaner SpacerToxicological Information

As far as the toxicological information, it is not toxic if you ingest it orally, accordance to the FHSA and the CPSC guidelines. Now, you’re not going to ingest it for any reason. It’s not wise. Don’t do it.

SDS Ecological - Earth Friendly Savvy Cleaner SpacerEcological Information

All right, ecological information. It is biodegradable, but it is not good for fish. Do not get this near fish or your fish tank.

SDS Transportation Savvy Cleaner SpacerTransportation

Loading an airplaneTarn-x is regulated by the Department of Transportation. So, if you’re flying to a job, you can’t carry it in your carry-on luggage. But you can check it in your checked luggage that goes at the back of the airplane in the cargo bin.

Just so that you’re aware of that. And It has one of these safety lids so that you’ve got to mash the lid down to turn it, otherwise, it won’t open.

That is to protect this from spilling, either in an airplane or in your cleaning caddy if it gets dumped over. It won’t leak in your car, because of the lid.

It’s also a safety precaution against children, to keep them getting into it.

Work Smart Not Hard Tools

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Work Smart Not Hard ToolsAlrighty, before I show you how to polish the silver, I want to show you my work smart, not hard tools.

Now, the reason I want to do this is so that you don’t show up to a customer’s house, without the proper tools with you. The first thing that I want you to do is to think cotton. Cotton is going to be our key when polishing silver.

We want to stay away from all wood products that are like paper products, paper towels, newspaper, stuff like that.

Those are made of recycled wood, and the wood fibers can actually scratch the surface of silver, which is a soft metal.

Dry, Buff & Polish with Cotton Cloths

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Buffing Silver with Cotton Terry ClothAs we remove tarnish and polish silver, we will rinse the silver and dry it off. We will do this with cotton towels. During the process, there will be several rinses and we’ll use the cotton towels a lot.

Cellulose Sponges with NO Scrubby

A scrubby sponge can scratch silver. So, we’ll use just a plain cellulose sponge with NO scrubby. This we will use for washing the silver and then as we rinse it, to wash the Tarn-x off. Any color of a sponge is fine.

Cotton Applicators – Cotton Balls, Makeup Remover Pads, Q-Tips

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Gravy ContainerThen we have a couple of cotton products that we’re going to take with us, just because the intricacies of the silver will vary from piece to piece.

We’re going to take some cotton swabs with us, and this will allow us to put the Tarn-X on the cotton swab, and then on the silver.

Another thing we’re going to take with us are cotton pads. These are makeup remover pads, and depending on the surface, this might be a better choice.

Another thing we’re going to take with us are Q-tips. Because sometimes we need to get in small nooks and crannies, a Q-tip is perfect, and it has the cotton tip.

Cotton swabs, remover pads, and Q-tips are all cheap, disposable cleaning tools.

Soft Nylon Toothbrush to Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver

The soft nylon-bristled toothbrush allows you to dip into the Tarn-x solution and then get in the nooks and crannies where a Q-tip won’t go.

Two Minute Time Limit to Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver

2 Min TimerAll right, now before we begin, there’s a hard-fast rule that you need to know about using Tarn-X.

Once you put the Tarn-X on the silver, you do not want it to stay on the silver for longer than two minutes. Two minutes is your time limit, and if you’re not done, wash the thing, dry it off, and start over again.

Alrighty, those are the things that you need to be aware of and things that you need to just keep in the back of your mind as you do your polishing silver. Let’s go take a look. Let’s give it a try, and see exactly how it works.

Use a Soft Bath Towel for Your Polishing Workstation

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Painters Tape to show before and afterNow, if you’re listening to the podcast right now, what you can’t see is that we’ve taken a soft bath towel, and we’ve laid it on top of the counter. We are using it as our workstation to remove tarnish and polish silver.

We’ve dipped a cotton swab inside the Tarn-X that we poured into a small condiment dish.

As we brush it on a small silver platter that is badly tarnished, we can see its amazing transformation.

Elbow Grease and a Toothbrush Work Wonders

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Tooth Brush to Clean tarnish edgesAround the edges, there is some difficulty with the tarnish coming off. And we’re going to have to dip our brush or our Q-tips inside the Tarn-X so that we can get those edges.

Now, just a little bit of extra elbow grease might be all that’s needed.

But below the surface of the tarnish there, you can see oxidized smudges and scratches.

This is going to take a bit of TLC.

You want to give yourself some time to do this.

And again, we’re working in the two-minute time constraint. To get this off we’ll have to rinse off this Tarn-x, dry it and repeat the process a few times. The formula can’t sit too long on the silver.

I Used Painters Tape Down the Middle to Illustrate the Difference

Now, I have taped up all the silver pieces that we’re going to be cleaning today. And I taped them right down the middle with painter’s tape, so that you could see the before and after. What we’re looking at right now is amazing before and after of this silver platter.

Round 2 – Rinse, Dry, Tarn-x

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Drying Silver with a Cotton Terry ClothAll right, now we’ve rinsed and washed and dried the platter, and we’re coming back for a second round. When you bid a job for a customer, you have to give yourself plenty of time to do the second and the third round.

On a lot of commercials and stuff that you see, people only clean it once and then it’s magically transformed.

But the reality is, it usually takes two or three passes before you’re going to get it to meet your standard of excellence. So, build in the time that it’s going to take to actually do the job right.  Because your referrals come from how well you did.

You don’t want it to be sloppy, and you don’t want to give the customer back something that’s not quite complete or that it didn’t work out properly. So, give yourself plenty of time to do the job correctly.

Stuff We’re Cleaning Today

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Black BellIn this particular silver cleaning session, we are cleaning a gravy container, a knife, a small platter, and a ring holder. We’ve got a split his and hers goblet that together make a complete goblet. We have an almost black Christmas bell.

The Christmas bell is giving me a bit of trouble with the top of it, where it connects to the little part that hangs on. It had some kind of a little, I don’t know, glass piece or something that looked like mistletoe, and it was hard to get underneath that.

So, we’re going to end up using both Q-tips and a toothbrush to try to get underneath the top piece. In the end, it will take longer to try to clean under the connector piece than to just unscrew it. I will unscrew it to save time.

The 2nd and 3rd Passes Prove Exciting Results

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Polishing Gravy Container with Cotton Terry ClothBut you’ll see that even inside all these different pieces, even with the second pass, the silver is starting to really shine.

What we’re looking at now is actually the third pass on this little gravy container. And it does have lots of smudges from food over the years and fingerprints and things that have oxidized. But the more we polish it, the nicer it looks.

The gravy container is at six minutes now.

But we have had two minutes on it, and then we rinsed it, two more minutes, rinsed it, and now we’re on the third section of two minutes.

It’s not taking a long time, it’s just that we need to make sure that we give ourselves plenty of time to make a few passes if bidding the job.

Final Rinse, Dry and Buff with Cotton Cloth

It took three passes on each of these items before we gave it a thumbs up.

We rinsed the silver in soapy water, rinsed it in clear water and now we’re drying it off with a cotton terry cloth.

There are hints of a few smudges left, but those buff right off with a cotton terry cloth. And we’re left with what looks like next to new shiny silver.

You would never know that a product as simple to use as Tarn-x could produce such luxurious results.

It gave all our silver a whole new life.

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver – Before and After Results

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Silver pieces to cleanRemove Tarnish and Polish Silver After PictureNow, no product review would be complete without a before and after of the silver. Right now, we’ve gone back, to look at the silver with all the oxidizing and the fingerprints and the tarnish and the scratches.

And as you look at the finished product it’s easy to see how upselling this service with a before and after pictures can fill in the gaps during slow months.

The results are stunning.

With these results can you imagine how many referrals you might receive just to remove tarnish and polish silver?

And the best news is that clients that hire you this year will re-hire you for this one upsell service again next year and the year after.

Tarn-x Gets the Savvy Cleaner Seal of Approval

Remove Tarnish and Polish Silver Tarn-x Savvy Cleaner Seal of ApprovalAlrighty, so now we’ve had a chance to take a look at Tarn-X. We’ve given it a try. We’ve read the SDS sheet. We’ve learned all about it. We’ve learned about the work smart not hard tools. And it does exactly what it says it’s supposed to do.

I’m going to give Tarn-X the Savvy Cleaner Seal of Approval. And I’m giving them a high five for truth in advertising. Now if a customer asks you, “Can you come to clean my silver?” this is another product you can put inside your cleaning caddy.

Now, I want to hear your feedback. Do you use Tarn-X? And if you don’t, what do you use instead? Let’s start a conversation in the notes below. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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*** This show was sponsored by ***

SAVVY CLEANER – House Cleaner Training and Certification

HOUSECLEANING360 – Connecting House Cleaners with Homeowners

SAVVY PERKS – Employee Benefits for Small Business Owners

VRBO AIRBNB CLEANING – Cleaning tips and strategies for your short-term rental

*** Work Smart Not Hard Tools Used ***

TARN-X Tarnish Remover – https://amzn.to/2BUarhs

Cotton Balls – https://amzn.to/2LGBRfh

Cotton Make-Up Remover Pads – https://amzn.to/2Rm5dFg

Q-Tips – https://amzn.to/2BNbzng

Soft Bristle Toothbrush – https://amzn.to/2s0PRaE

Plain Cellulose Sponge – https://amzn.to/2RpAE1l

Cotton Terry Cleaning Cloths – https://amzn.to/2LDIEqh

*** Personal Protective Equipment Used ***

Clear Safety Goggles – https://amzn.to/2GKTwDT

Nitrile Disposable Gloves – https://amzn.to/2GM7wgt

Apron – https://amzn.to/2SrxYxt

Disposable Face Mask – https://amzn.to/2GNP8Ea

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Angela Brown
The House Cleaning Guru at Savvy Cleaner
Angela Brown is the founder of Savvy Cleaner Training and the author of the book "How to Start your Own House Cleaning Company."
She hosts a daily YouTube show and Podcast called "Ask a House Cleaner"
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