Model A & B

Ford Garage

Cleaning Silvered Plated Lamp Reflectors

Here is a neat method posted by Bob Bidonde on how to clean silver plated headlamp and cowl lamp reflectors easily. Thanks for his permission to reprint it here. Here is the trick in his own words:

Don't use any mechanical method of cleaning the silver plating on original reflectors. Sulphur in the air is the primary cause of the tarnish which is silver sulfide. Try this chemical method of cleaning.

Gather a plastic or glass container big enough to submerge a reflector and that will withstand boiling water. A one-gallon plastic pail should do. Line the bottom of the container with aluminum foil, shiny side up.

Add a teaspoonful of salt per gallon of water and boil the water. Poor the solution into the container and stir in a heaping teaspoonful of baking soda. While this solution is hot, submerge a reflector in it for 5 to 10 minutes.

The tarnish will leave the reflector and plate onto the aluminum foil. Rinse the reflector in plain warm water and blow dry it.

Do the same for the next reflector. As the aluminum foil becomes tarnished and the mixture cools, the cleaning time will increase.

Be patient.

Bob Bidonde
December 1999