The Fruit You Can Use To Make Your Silverware Sparkle

Imagine that you're getting ready to host your New Year's Eve dinner party. The sides are started on the stove, the salad is chopped and ready to toss, and the main course is keeping warm in the oven. You're almost done setting the table, but as you reach for your nice silverware set, you realize you forgot to polish it. The silverware hasn't been used since last year, but you've got guests coming in hours. Traditional silver polish is often toxic and can create a strong odor that will turn your guests' stomachs, but tarnished spoons just won't do for your special occasion. The solution? Have a banana or two. This fruit won't just give your body a much-needed energy boost — you can actually use the leftover banana peel to solve your silverware woes.

This banana peel trick works best on silver that isn't too tarnished and can do much more than leave silverware sparkling — you can use it to clean silver jewelry, too. But what's the science behind this fruity magic? Here's how to use banana peels to polish your silverware and serving plates — and why one particular ingredient is silver's non-toxic best friend. 

Banana peels gently remove tarnish

Silverware oxidizes when it comes into contact with hydrogen sulfide, a compound often found in the air and on surfaces. The result is silver sulfide — or tarnish — which looks like a black film over the surface of your silverware. To remove the tarnish, simply chop up a yellow banana peel and blend it into a paste with a splash of water. Use a rag or soft-bristled toothbrush to apply the paste to your silver and rub in small circles. As you buff the blended banana peel into the silver, the potassium will work like a cleaner to dissolve the silver sulfide and lift the tarnish from the surface. Finally, rinse and pat each silverware piece dry. 

YouTuber CJ decided to try the hack out for herself and concluded that it works surprisingly well in a pinch! "If you've got something that's small and it's only been tarnished for a little bit [of time] or it's got a spot, and you've got a banana peel, I think it's perfect," said CJ. However, she found that using the banana peel directly can also work, especially for smaller items. Rub the silverware or jewelry on the inside of the peel, let it sit for a few minutes, then follow up with a soft toothbrush dipped in water to scrub out any fine details.