Silver tarnishes very easily and it tends to look darker with the passage of time. This is due to oxidation of silver with sulfides in the atmosphere. There are various ways of cleaning sterling silver jewelry.
- Avoid contact of silver jewelry with any kind of abrasives such as acetone, chlorine and bleach. Use a gentle and mild liquid detergent to clean it.
- Store your silver jewelry in air tight containers or plastic pouches. While storing them, make sure that different pieces of jewelry do not rub against each other, as scratches may be formed on them.
- The best sterling silver jewelry cleaner is a piece of soft cotton or flannel cloth. Rub the silver with back and forth motion to clean it. Do not rub it in circular motions, as there may be scratch marks over the jewelry.
- Another way in which you can clean sterling silver jewelry, is by using toothpaste. For this you need a soft cloth and a white toothpaste. Apply toothpaste on your jewelry and rub it with a cloth for 2-3 minutes. Rinse the jewelry with lukewarm water and dry it with a towel.
- You can also use a solution of mild herbal shampoo to clean your silver jewelry. In a glass bowl, dilute some shampoo and immerse the silver jewelry in it for 10-12 minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry them thoroughly.
- Line a shallow glass dish with aluminum foil with its shiny side pointing towards you. Place the silver jewelry over the aluminum foil and sprinkle 5-6 tablespoon of washing soda. Pour half a liter of boiling water over it and let the jewelry soak for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well with water and dry it with a soft flannel cloth. If your jewelry contains any stones like turquoise or pearls, then do not use this procedure, as you might damage the stones.
How to Clean Silver Jewelry with Household Products
The most common and easiest method of cleaning silver jewelry at home and removing tarnish is cleaning silver jewelry with baking soda. Other methods include the use of aluminum foil, toothpaste and salt. Here’s a description of these cleaning methods.
Cleaning Silver with Baking Soda
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- Aluminum foil/ aluminum foil plate
- Hot water
- Soft towel
Boil some water in a pan, depending upon the amount of jewelry that you want to clean. Place a piece of aluminum foil in a plate or bowl and pour the boiling water into it. Add the baking soda to the water and make sure it dissolves well in the water.
Drop your silver jewelry into the water and swish it around a few times. Let the jewelry stay in the water for a few minutes, then remove them and rinse under running water. Place them on a soft towel and pat dry. Cleaning silver with salt and aluminum foil is a similar procedure, you will just need to replace the baking soda with salt.
Cleaning Silver with Toothpaste
- Non-gel toothpaste
- Old toothbrush with soft bristles
- Soft cloth
- Soft towel
Dab very little toothpaste on the jewelry and use a soft cloth to rub it on the surface. Rub gently in a circular motion and when you see the toothpaste turning black, simply wash it off under warm running water.
For grooves and stubborn tarnish on the jewelry, use a soft bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the jewelry with toothpaste. Rinse thoroughly under warm running water and dry using a soft towel.
How to Clean Silver Necklace
Cleaning silver necklaces may be a little difficult compared to other silver jewelry because of the different designs and patterns. Silver snake chains may be especially difficult to clean and remove the varnish off them. You will need to use a silver jewelry cleaner or a silver polish to clean the necklace along with the use of a soft bristled toothbrush.
For mild tarnishes, you can use the baking soda method to clean silver necklaces. Instead of using an aluminum foil, you can make use of any aluminum vessel to place the silver jewelry for cleaning. A cleaning paste prepared by mixing two parts baking soda and three parts water should also be helpful in cleaning silver necklaces.
How to Clean Silver Jewelry Naturally
Cleaning or polishing silver jewelry naturally will require the use of a polishing or a flannel cloth. You could also make use of a cloth with anti-tarnish ingredients to clean your silver jewelry.
You must clean your silver jewelry after every use and you must also keep them in jewelry boxes, away from any other metal. Clean the jewelry thoroughly after every use and make sure they dry thoroughly because moisture will only tarnish the silver further.