How Diatomaceous Earth Keeps Silverware From Tarnishing Naturally


Silverware is a carefully cared for item in the home, typically used only on special occasions. Although silver is a lustrous metal that provides a high degree of shine and aesthetic appeal, it is prone to a chemical reaction that occurs over long periods of time.

Silver tarnish causes a patina that reduces the shine of silverware due to an oxidative reaction between the oxygen in the atmosphere and silver. This patina typically manifests as a dull film that covers silverware.

The commonly available silverware cleaning solutions designed to remove tarnish patina are composed of highly toxic metal polishing agents that present a very serious poisoning risk.

Metal polish poisoning can cause extremely dangerous symptoms such as breathing difficulty, severe abdominal pain, vision loss, convulsions, and even lung collapse or coma.

The best way to prevent metal polish poisoning from occurring in your home is to avoid its use altogether by preventing silver from tarnishing.

Diatomaceous earth can be used as a chemical-free silverware tarnish remover, but can also prevent the tarnish from occurring in the first place.

By protecting silverware from exposure to both moisture and oxygen, diatomaceous earth is a completely inert and chemical-free preventative measure that will preserve the long-term integrity of your silverware.

In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on the best method of preventing silver tarnish with diatomaceous earth.

What You’ll Need

  • A Towel or Cloth
  • Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
  • A Diatomaceous Earth Duster
  • An Airtight Container

Step 1: Prepare Container & Clean Silverware

Aside from oxygen exposure, the other main cause of silverware tarnish is the gas emitted by decaying food particles.

Clean your silverware extensively after use and dry thoroughly. Dust the inside of your airtight container and place a dry towel inside of it, dusting the towel with DE. Place the silverware on the towel.

Step 2: Apply Diatomaceous Earth

Proceed by dusting the silverware with diatomaceous earth until it is completely covered. A diatomaceous earth duster will assist with creating an even distribution and minimizing mess. The best tool for this dusting process is a squeeze duster.

For information on the best dusters, see our article on Squeeze Dusters and Bulb Dusters: Which One is Best?.

Step 3: Store Silverware

Once you’ve dusted the silverware with diatomaceous earth, wrap them with the DE dusted towel and close the lid of the airtight container.

Store in a cool, dry place. The diatomaceous earth will absorb the moisture content of the container, preventing your silverware from tarnishing.

Additional Notes

Always be sure to use only food grade diatomaceous earth for any application in which it may be ingested.

Other forms of diatomaceous earth, such as pest control grade diatomaceous earth, can contain toxic insecticides that are designed to enhance their efficacy.

Only 100% food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to use on silverware.

Diatomaceous Earth Information Guide:

We have a wide variety of food grade diatomaceous earth resources for you look through to make your life a little easier and chemical-free. Please check out the other valuable resources and versatile application uses for silica-rich diatomaceous earth below:

Please reach out regarding any information above. In the future, more share-worthy useful enhancements, experiences and effects of diatomaceous earth will be added as the benefits continue to pile up. Always welcome for more insight and awareness, click the button to see the most recommended beautifully blended product that combines both high quality food grade diatomaceous earth powder and pure organic silica together in one formula.

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