True, it may not work on Twilight vampires (and you may or may not want it to), but outside of Stephanie Meyer’s universe, silver is usually considered an effective way to keep the vampires (and werewolves) away.
Over time, silver becomes tarnished and loses some of its shine. This happens when the silver reacts with sulfur in the air to form silver sulfide, which is blackish in color. You can reverse this effect with a simple experiment using common household materials and…chemistry!
In addition to a tarnished silver object, you will need:
- a pan deep enough to accomodate the silver object
- enough aluminum foil to cover the bottom of the pan
- enough boiling water to fill the pan
- oven mitts
- baking soda (about 1 Tablespoon per cup of water)
Put the aluminum foil in place in the bottom of the pan. Place the silver object in the pan, on top of the foil.
Once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat and add the appropriate amout of baking soda, depending on how much water you have. Then, carefully pour the water into the pan (using the oven mitts). Make sure the silver object is covered by the water. It will take at least a few minutes, depending on how tarnished the silver object is. If it is very tarnished, you may have to pour out the baking soda solution, reheat it, and pour it back in.
How does it work?
Sulfur from the air causes silver to tarnish when it reacts with the silver and forms silver sulfide. Sulfer reacts to other metals in this way as well. Aluminum is one such metal, and because sulfer has a greater affinity for aluminum than silver, the aluminum will pull the sulfide away, leaving just silver behind — and thus making the silver object shiny again.