Recently being at the PNE and looking around the Marketplace, (which is a must on my PNE list of things to do and see each summer - I call it the "didn't know I needed it until I was told" building.) In recent years I have purchased a $700 vitamix blender (which shockingly haven't regretted once), a $100 massager (that broke with in the first year), eyebrow make up set that was to change my non-existent brows into magnificence in 10 second a day (problem being you have to do it), Shea butter from Africa (an annual must..love it).
This year the jewellery cleaner caught my eye.. it is apparently fantastic on gold and silver.. and I almost bought it for something crazy like $20. And then I remembered.. that I clean my silver jewellery with table salt and aluminum foil. I don't own a lot of gold so I have never tried it on gold.. I wouldn't recommend it. So here is my tip for the day that costs just cents:
For jewellery I use a pasta bowl or casserole dish, for silverware and tea sets I use the kitchen sink.
Line the bottom of the dish or sink with aluminum foil and add a generous amount of table salt (at least a couple tablespoons), fill with warm water (actually I have no idea if temperature matters but that's what I use) and set silver into bowl/sink. Leave for a minimum of 2 -3 minutes and then rinse with water. Depending on amount of tarnish you can re-soak. I have left heavily tarnished items overnight.
The science behind it:
When salt, aluminum foil and water are combined they create a chemical reaction known as ion exchange. During this process, the tarnish on the silver is transferred to the foil. In fact, if your silver is tarnished enough, you'll actually see brown tarnish on the aluminum foil.
Have a great day!