William said, “I cleaned my tarnished silver per your directions then washed and dried it. Now I have silver tarnish residue on my towel, and it won’t wash out. How do I get silver tarnish residue out of my dish towel?”
People often polish items with their shirt or towel, not realizing that the metal tarnish can be transferred to the fabric. Use the steps below to remove the stains.
Removing the Stain
You Will Need:
- A cloth
- White vinegar
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Lemon juice
- A nail brush
- An old toothbrush
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Soak a cleaning cloth with a mild bleach, such as white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice.¹ A paint thinner, such as VM&P Naptha, may also be effective.²
- Sponge the solution onto the stain. Rotate the cleaning cloth to a clean area as the stain is transferred to it.¹
- If needed, scrub the cleaning solution into the stain with a soft-bristled brush, such as a nail brush or old toothbrush.²
- Rinse the fabric well, then wash it as usual in the laundry.¹
- If the stain is stubborn, try using sour milk. Mix together some vinegar and milk in a bowl to create sour milk, then put the stained area of the item in the bowl.³
- Let the stain soak in the sour milk for about 30 minutes, then wash it as usual.³
Additional Tips and Advice
- Always test a cleaning solution on a small, hidden area of the fabric first to look for any adverse effects.
- Always assume that your cleaning (or polishing) cloth will be ruined to avoid using a more valuable cloth, such as a hand towel that is part of a set.
- Field Guide to Stains by Virginia M. Friedman, Melissa Wagner, and Nancy Armstrong
- Removing Spots and Stains by Ibert & Eleanor Mellan
- Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest