In our hobby, we sometimes use silver plated parts for their excellent characteristics in HF circuits. Higher Q and better electrical contacts.
One drawback of silver, is that it is corroding, and getting black. This black color is mainly due to the silver sulfid (Ag2S). Silver sulfid is a much worse conductor than silver and giving a ugly look.
For one of my recent projects (VHF tube amplifier) i used an old socket which had all pin contacts very corroded. I looked for a simple and safe way to clean them.
The following method is the result of my experiences and works perfectly with things that can be found in any kitchen !
What you will need :
- Kitchen aluminium foil
- Cooking salt or baking soda
- A plastic or glass container
What to do :
Put an aluminium foil on the bottom of the plastic or glass container, a plate for example. Put enough warm water (the reaction is faster when the solution is warm) in the container so will cover the parts you want to clean. Dissolve a good quantity of salt or baking soda in it and immerge the corroded silver parts. The silver parts should be in contact with the aluminium foil.
After a few minutes you should see the silver oxyde dissolving and the parts getting cleaner. An odor of rotten egg in normal and indicates the presence of sulfure hydrogen. Complete the cleaning while rubbing with a rag or kitchen paper. If the parts are very tarnished, you can repeat the process several times.
I'm not a chemist so i can't explain the complete reaction, but from what i know we converted the silver sulfide back into silver and also made a battery in which the minus pole is the aluminium and the positive pole the Silver. The salted water is only a conductor. In any case, it works !
This method has the advantage not to remove the silver from the parts but regenerates the silver. You can of course clean any other silver parts like forks and knives !
Here a picture of the socket parts i cleaned with this method. (before and after !) I hope this helps ?!