Basic procedures and common home chemicals are used in these simple silver cleaning methods to remove tarnish and restore rings, necklaces, and other valuable pieces of jewelry.
Cleaning your jewelry, particularly silver items that tarnish rapidly, is unlikely to be at the top of your to-do list, in contrast to duties such as washing down surfaces and vacuuming the floors. Despite the fact that it is a simple task, this sometimes overlooked cleaning activity may be difficult to complete because the silver jewelry we wear on a daily basis, such as the silver earrings you never take off or a favorite necklace, does not necessarily tarnish rapidly. These items are regularly worn and simply need a little cleaning from time to time. More rigorous washing may be required for finer silver jewelry that has been sitting in boxes or on trays for an extended period of time and has been darkened due to exposure and lack of usage. How to clean silver jewelry using easy DIY techniques that remove tarnish and restore luster will be covered in this article.
How to Care for and Clean Silver Jewelry
Because silver is a delicate, shiny metal, it is important to clean it gently. When it comes to cleaning daily jewelry, a solution of warm water and mild dishwashing detergent, or even baby shampoo, will typically be enough. This procedure is very effective for cleaning gold jewelry.
- Warm water should have a few drops of liquid dish soap added to it. Continue to mix until bubbles appear.
- Jewelry should be soaked in the solution for 5 to 10 minutes.
- To clean any crevices, a soft-bristle brush, such as a toothbrush, should be used.
- Warm water should be used to clean your jewelry.
- Using a silver cloth ($8.00 from Bed Bath & Beyond) or microfiber towel, gently wipe the jewelry to dry it. Paper towels should not be used since they may damage the silver.
The same goes for fine silver jewelry set with diamonds or other expensive jewels, which may often be cleaned with soap and water. It is recommended that you consult with a jeweler before cleaning valuables, or that you have the item professionally cleaned to ensure its safety.
How to Care for and Clean Your Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver is more likely than pure silver to be used in the creation of the silver items in your jewelry box. As a result, sterling silver includes around 7.5 percent copper, which makes it stronger than pure 99.9 percent silver (which is unusual), but also makes it more susceptible to tarnish. (Copper is the most common element responsible for corrosion on sterling silver jewelry.)
Whether you want to know if your jewelry is sterling silver rather than silver-plated, look for a marking on the clasp that reads 9.25, 925/1000, Sterling, S/S, or Sterling 9.25 on it. If your necklace or bracelet does not contain any of these indications, it is most likely silver-plated in appearance.
You may also attempt alternative DIY ways for cleaning silver that make use of common pantry and home supplies, such as baking soda, lemon juice, olive oil, white vinegar, salt, and toothpaste if soap and water don’t do the work.
Baking Soda is used to clean sterling silver.
To produce a paste, use two parts baking soda and one part water in a small bowl. Gently massage the mixture over the jewelry. Allow the paste to dry fully before attempting to remove the tarnish. Using a soft cloth or microfiber towel, rinse and dry the dish. Alternatively, cornstarch may be used in a similar manner as flour.
- Combine the lemon juice and olive oil.
- Combine 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small mixing bowl. To polish the silver, gently massage it with a clean cloth soaked in the solution until it sparkles. After rinsing, pat dry.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda should be combined.
- Prepare a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda, then soak your silver jewelry in the solution for two to three hours before cleaning and polishing.
- Toothpaste may be used to clean silver jewelry.
If you have sterling silver jewelry, a tiny bit of diluted toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush will work wonders for cleaning it. To be safe, avoid using whitening toothpaste and avoid using this procedure on anything that is silver-plated or has a silver finish.
How to Care for and Clean Silver Rings
Due to the fact that silver retains its luster best when worn often, everyday all-silver rings tend to retain a certain amount of glitter on a daily basis. However, rings that have been neglected for an extended period of time (or that have not been properly preserved) may need special attention.
If soap and water aren’t enough, a clean toothbrush may be used to scrape away any tarnished detail work that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned. The above-mentioned DIY techniques may also be used to clean silver ring settings.
Silver rings may be cleaned in a variety of ways, depending on their composition and other elements included in the item. These materials may include turquoise, pearls, and other gemstones or precious metals. Certain cleaning procedures may cause harm to certain materials. Vinegar, for example, may cause permeable stones to get damaged, while baking soda can scrape fragile metals to become damaged. If the ring is very valuable, it is best to get it cleaned by a specialist.
How to Care for and Clean Silver Chains
Due to the fact that silver chains on necklaces and bracelets tarnish rapidly when exposed to lotions, perfumes, and sweat, great care must be taken while wearing these delicate items. Fortunately, you can clean chains using the same approach that you use to clean silver flatware.
Silver sulfide, which is formed when sulfur atoms interact with silver, is often responsible for the tarnish on silver. This cleaning procedure makes use of aluminum foil to remove sulfur atoms away from the silver, resulting in a sparkling piece of jewelry. It should be noted that although this method is successful, it might have an unpleasant odor.
- Aluminum foil should be used to cover the whole surface of a big bowl or pan.
- Using hot water, fill the pan halfway.
- Stir add 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 tablespoons kosher salt to the water until it is completely dissolved. Bubbles will begin to develop.
- Place the silver jewelry in the solution and gently stir it in, taking care not to bang the pieces together or against the edges of the pan as you do so.
- Allow for a maximum of 5 minutes of resting time.
- Remove the item and carefully dry it with a soft towel.
The Best Way to Keep Silver Jewelry from Tarnishing
Preventative maintenance is the key to maintaining tarnish-free silver jewelry. Although you won’t be able to entirely protect silver from air, heat, or moisture, you may do your best to keep it from being exposed to these elements.
First and foremost, all silver jewelry should be carefully kept in soft, anti-tarnish bags ($14, The Container Store) in a cool, dark location away from direct sunlight. The lower the humidity, the better the situation is. Some people stuff the bags with a piece of chalk, a package of charcoal, or even silica gel to help draw moisture out of the bags. Extra moisture is also a contributing factor to the bad practice of leaving jewelry in the bathroom. Jewelry should be removed before bathing, swimming, or washing dishes. Jewelry should be put on last, after all of your fragrances and lotions have had a chance to soak in, and it should be a simple silver ring or earring.
Another, maybe more unexpected, method of preventing tarnish is to just wear your silver jewelry. The regular friction of living really does wonders for bringing out the gleam of silver.