We all know that silver jewelry tarnishes over time, and the most typical reason is air. While cleaning a piece of silver jewelry at home, some of the silver may be removed during the polishing process.
Over time, silver cutlery and silver metal lose their shine and may even blacken. This is called tarnishing, which happens due to a chemical reaction between sulfur and silver present in the air that causes it to tarnish. Today, most silver accessories and jewelry are plated with a thin layer of rhodium to prevent the metal and make it brighter. However, this weak protective skin wears off over time, making it simple for silver items to tarnish.
Silver objects are not only affected by the sulfur present in the air. Perfumes, hair spray, cosmetics, skin oils, hand cream, and sometimes some meals – can all cause silver to tarnish and lose its shine. There are, however, a few easy and inexpensive techniques to remove tarnish, clean, and polish silver.
Silver Cleaning At Home
Cleaning is easy because silver is a smooth, silky metal that requires little fuss. In most cases, cleaning everyday jewelry with warm water mixed with baby shampoo or with mild dishwashing detergent will suffice. This method also cleans gold jewelry.
- To warm water, add 2-3 drops of any liquid dish soap. Stir to form bubbles.
- Let the jewelry soak in the solution for about 5 minutes.
- Any gaps or crevices should be cleaned with a brush having soft bristle.
- Rinse precious stones and jewelry in warm water.
- Gently rub jewelry with a microfiber towel or a silver cloth while it’s still wet to dry. Avoid Paper towels as they might scratch the silver.
Other Methods For Cleaning Your Silver Jewelry At Home
Aluminum Foil + Laundry detergent
A silver-tarnishing cleanup method is to line a bowl with aluminum foil and fill it with boiling water. Add a spoonful of liquid laundry detergent to the mix after stirring. Fill the tub halfway with water, then drop your silver items inside and let them soak for a minute. With kitchen tongs, remove the silverware and rinse it with lukewarm water before laying it on a paper towel to dry.
Clean Silver Jewelry with Toothpaste
For cleaning sterling silver jewelry, a tiny amount of diluted toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush can produce amazing results. Just be careful not to use a whitening toothpaste, and avoid applying this technique on anything silver-plated.
Cornflour + Water
If your silver has dulled, this remedy will bring it back to life. Apply a thick paste of water and cornflour to the silver object. Allow the mixture to dry and then rub it off with a towel to polish and bring back the shine of jewelry and silverware. If you don’t have cornflour, try using cream of tartar instead.
Mix Lemon and Olive Oil
1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tsp. olive oil is a good combination to use for this task. Rub the silver with a clean cloth soaked in the solution, then rinse it and let it dry.
If you need to polish your silver ring on the run, use a hand sanitizer wipe. On a paper handkerchief, squeeze a little amount of hand sanitizer and gently clean your jewelry. The grease and slight discoloration are gone, and your silver is clean and bright once again! Try this solution on jewelry with mineral stones encrusted because some of the hand sanitizer’s components may harm the stone.
Clean Sterling Silver With Baking Soda
To remove tarnish, prepare a paste of two-third part of baking soda and one-third part water and put it on the jewelry. Let the paste dry completely before removing the tarnish. Rinse and dry your jewelry with a cloth or a microfiber towel after using cornstarch as a cleanser.
Ketchup is an excellent tarnish remover for silver. This method is handy if you only have a few silver pieces to clean. Using a paper towel soaked with ketchup, rub the tarnished silverware or jewelry gently. If there are any tarnished or discolored areas, saturate them with ketchup and leave them for 15 minutes. Rinse with water afterward using a microfibre cloth. Some objects, such as ornamental candlesticks or silverware, have more intricate designs. Clean the tarnish using a soft toothbrush between cracks.
Silver Rings Cleaning
Everyday silver rings seem to have the same amount of radiance as they maintain their shine better when used frequently. Rings that are inadvertently set aside for a certain time (or stored incorrectly) require special attention.
If that isn’t appropriate, take a clean brush to polish the tarnished part. Cleaning silver rings using the techniques outlined above is also possible.
The best approach for cleaning the silver rings is judged by the parts in the set, such as pearls, turquoise, and other precious metals or gemstones. Cleaning techniques might harm them. Although some tarnish comes naturally, others can be created by certain chemicals. Acetone and ammonia, for example, can discolor softer metals and damage porous stones. Baking soda also scratches delicate metals.
Silver Chain Cleaning
Silver necklaces and chains can become tarnished from lotions, fragrances, and perspiration. Because these delicate pieces often require special care, this is a common occurrence. You may use the same cleaning technique for silver flatware as you would for chains.
The tarnish on silver is frequently produced by the combination of sulfur atoms with silver. For getting back the sparkle, this technique of cleaning where the aluminum foil is used to remove sulfur atoms from the silver. This technique is effective but leaves an unpleasant smell.
- Aluminum foil should be used to cover the entire surface of a large bowl or dish.
- Fill the bowl half with boiling water.
- Add one fourth cup baking soda and two teaspoons kosher salt to the water and stir. Bubbles will form as a result of the chemical reaction between the baking soda and the water.
- Mix the solution gently, placing the silver jewelry in it and mixing carefully.
- Let rest for five minutes.
- Then wipe it till dry using a soft cloth.
How To Avoid Tarnish On Silver Jewellery
The secret to silver jewelry that looks brand new is preventative care. Although you can’t entirely safeguard silver from the air, heat, or dampness, you may make an effort.
In the first place, all silver jewelry should be placed in soft anti-tarnish bags ($14, The Container Store) in a cool dark location. The lower the humidity level, the better. To assist remove moisture from the bags, some people add chalk, charcoal, or even silica gel. Also, because of the moisture in the air, leaving jewelry in the bathroom is not a smart idea. Remove rings, earrings, and other silver accessories before bathing or cleaning dishes; be careful to put your jewelry on last after all of your fragrances and lotions have had time to sink in.
Wearing your silver might be a surprisingly efficient method to prevent tarnish. Everyday friction in life does aid in the preservation of silver.
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Thomas Boseman is the author of Pawnbroking.com. A pawn shop owner by day, blog writer by night. When not writing, he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his dog, Roman. Thomas received his bachelor of arts in film from the University of Arizona. A Brooklyn native, Thomas is a lover of filmmaking, motorcycle, and coffee.