|Yes, this is supposed to be silver under all this black!|
By the time I actually got around to polishing it, I knew better than to use that toxic stuff in my home, and then I thought about using my Thieves Household Cleaner. It's infused with the ultra-powerful "Thieves" Blend of essential oil from Young Living. The Thieves blend of oil has a combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils. In the small oil bottle, we use it on our bodies to support our immune systems, but we use the Thieves Household Cleaner bottle diluted with water on pretty much every surface in our home. It smells amazing (kind of like Christmas)! And is really affordable (our concentrated bottle has lasted us about a year already). And the best part is that it's safe around kids, so I never have to worry about any damaging influence it might have on them.
For this heavy-duty job, I added some baking soda to the mix to give it some scrubbing power. All I did was put baking soda into a bowl and then use the diluted Thieves cleaner spray to wet the baking soda until it formed a paste. Then I put the paste onto the tea set and let it sit for about fifteen minutes (maybe less).
After that, it was ready for me to start scrubbing with a soft towel. Quite a bit of rubbing or "elbow grease" was required to make this process work, but I started to see a ton come off right away. I repeated the process from the beginning to get the more stubborn areas to shine. After it was at a place that I thought was shiny enough, I rinsed of the tea set and dried it by hand so no water would sit on it.
Things I would do differently:
Polish my Tea Seat more frequently for starters! There was so much guck on this tea set, and there were some permanent damages that occurred because of how long I let it sit unpolished. Besides this, I would probably use the Thieves cleaner undiluted, just straight from the concentrated bottle. It may have worked faster if I had done that the first time around!
Things to Consider About Natural Cleaning:
You can take a look at the finished product of my polished silver to decide for yourself how effective it was, bearing in mind that my tea set was an extreme, and--let's face it--abused case of silver. But I would be lying to you if I said that it was easy (I feel like I got some new muscles in the process) or that it got everything. It's probably true that using the toxic stuff may have been easier, and maybe even more effective. But how important is your health and the health of your family to you? Our bodies, our homes, are precious and sacred things, and I believe that taking the hard road is worth it if it means taking care of them a little better.