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vinegar to remove heavy black tarnish?

I need to clean heavy black tarnish from a large, intricate, 6 armed candleholder. A local jeweler has suggested vinegar. I have read your articles on silver care and have not seen it mentioned. Hand polishing on this piece in this condition seems next to impossible.

Re: vinegar to remove heavy black tarnish?

Vinegar is 3% acetic acid and I suppose it is possible that the vinegar might help remove the sulfides formed on the silver. I suggest you try dipping a sponge or rag in the vinegar and rubbing it over the silver. I do not suggest dipping it since you might get vinegar trapped in hollow cavities in the candlestic. Let us know if this works.


Re: Re: vinegar to remove heavy black tarnish?

Thanks for the advice. I will see if it helps and let you know. What tricks or tools do you use to polish all the nooks and crannies? I am using toothpicks, Q-tips and a toothbrush but there are still places I cannot polish effectively.

Re: Re: Re: vinegar to remove heavy black tarnish?

The vinegar did not help. I finished polishing the piece and have another question. The 6 arms have been bent somewhat over the years and they are uneven. The stem on each arm that fits into the center piece looks like brass. Can you tell me how to safely bend the arms to even them out or should it be done professionally?

I am told the piece is early 19th century English. Can you theorize on how much brass might have been used for strength unless I am wrong on the makeup of the stems?