Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cleaning can be Science

Early in December we put up our Christmas tree. As the kids were taking out the ornaments they noticed that a number of them weren't as shiny as they used to be. They asked about the black stuff on the angels and the baby cradles. I told them it was normal and that they just needed to be cleaned.

Last week we put the tree away and those same ornaments were put away looking just as dingy and still in need of a good polish. This week we returned to our study of the elements and read a book about silver. We learned that silver will tarnish and the book gave us directions to remove tarnish. We don't have many silver things in our house. We don't have actual silverware or any silver dishes, but my kids remembered the silver ornaments. We had just packed them back up into the Christmas ornament box still covered in tarnish. The kids really wanted to try out the "experiment".

At first I didn't want to go dig them out but then I thought. If we don't do it now then I will never get around to doing it. So I went and dug through the Christmas box that I had carefully packed just a few days before and found the box of ornaments. We took out the five ornaments that most needed a cleaning and then followed the directions the book gave us to clean off the tarnish.
This is really very simple. I can't believe I waited so long to do this.
Aluminum foil, a pan, some boiling water and some baking soda is all you need.

All we had to do was dry them off and wipe some baking soda off of them and they looked beautiful again.

Then I quickly put them back into the ornament box and back out to the bin of Christmas items to wait for next December when they will come out and hang on the tree again. I hope they still look this good. But hopefully I won't be so slow to clean they up. The kids sure loved this very simple project. I am glad they thought of it.

1 comment:

Bibliophile said...

I hope you packed the ornaments tightly in an old towel or something. It's the air that creates the tarnish. Also, I have heard that the method you used is hard on silver. I use the silver polish found in the grocery store to clean silver pieces. Still, the silver ornaments certainly sparkle!