The Christmas decorations are out of the attic and the decorating has begun. It has been two years since I have seen those boxes. Last year we were building and our Christmas decor consisted of 3 PEZ dispensers, Santa, a reindeer and a snowman, and a bad attitude. *wink*
After living in Colorado for so many years my primary concern when storing the Christmas boxes, was never putting anything in them that would get ruined if it froze. Snow globes are a really good example, trust me.
I have learned over the last three years of storing things in Texas, the heat can be just as damaging. I have also come to realize that the humidity is VERY hard on silver. It took years for silver to tarnish in Colorado. Here, I swear it happens overnight!
When I opened the Christmas box that contained the 38 silver bells "silver" isn't exactly how I would have described them. They were pretty ugly.
Why do I have 38 bells? We started buying the bells when the boys were tiny. We bought two dated bells, one for each boy, every year at christmas until they turned 21. One day I will pass them on to them......one day...
In years past we used a silver polish cloth, and with everyone's help had them shined in an evening. Yesterday, it was just me and 38 nasty black bells.
Typically I would call my mom and if that didn't work I would Google it, however decided the easy way (lazy way) out was to post something on FaceBook, certainly THAT would get me my easy quick answer. What it got me was a suggestion from a friend to Google it. Ha! Big bonus, she had already googled it and told me exactly what to search and viola! the quick fix was right before my eyes. Thank you Sheri!!
I read through the directions and ignored the little voice that said "what if this ruins the bells" and ultimately decided they either went back into storage black, or I tried it. IT. WAS. AMAZING!
This is what I did~
First you line a deep container with tin foil and then you put in the silver items, making sure they touch the foil.
Then you bring a gallon of water to a boil, remove the pan from the stove and set it in the sink. Add 1 cup of baking soda. This foams and gurgles, which is why you need the pan with the hot water in the sink, or you will have a much bigger mess than some tarnished silver.
Anyway.... Next you pour the hot water/soda mix over the silver, making sure everything is covered with water. Plug your nose! The sulphur smell is kind of nasty. My bells required about a 5 minute soak, then a wipe down with a soft cloth and they are prettier than they have been in years. It even got the tarnish out of the engraving lines! Bonus! 38 clean and shiny bells in under an hour WAHOO!
Here is a link to the complete instructions
The webpage contains some very cool scientific info on why things tarnish and why that polish cloth isn't always the best choice. Did you know that when you wipe away that black tarnish you are actually wiping away some of the silver? Yikes!
I am happy to report my bells are on the tree and looking rather shiny! Christmas memory preserved.
Enjoy your Christmas preparations. Treasure all of the memories and if you are not sure what to do........GOOGLE IT!
Happy rest of your week
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