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10 Smart Tricks to Make Cleaning So Much Easier

Of the hundreds of cleaning tips Real Simple has published, these are among our most popular—and most ingenious.

Baking soda and silver bowls
Beatriz da Costa
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Use Baking Soda to Clean Silver

Here’s a no-polish shortcut to getting your silver pieces, from knives to gravy boats, sparkling. First, hand wash items in warm soapy water (use mild dish soap). Place in an aluminum foil–lined pot. In a separate pot, mix 1 quart of boiling water with ¼ cup baking soda and a couple teaspoons salt. Pour the mix over the silver, then cover with a well-fitting lid. Let sit for up to five minutes as the solution works to remove any blackness from the silver. Remove silver from pot, rinse with clean water, and dry with a clean, soft cloth.

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