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    A Simple Guide To Cleaning Your Silver Jewelry Like A Pro

    A Simple Guide To Cleaning Your Silver Jewelry Like A Pro

    Cleaning silver is not as complicated as you would imagine.

    Indeed, the process is easy and you only need products readily available in your house to get your jewelry shiny in a matter of minutes.

    For example, that big tube of toothpaste that will probably take you forever to finish is just right for this. In your kitchen, there probably is baking soda, ammonia or vinegar. Your bathroom cabinets too may have window cleaning detergent which you can use as well. But before diving deep into the various methods of cleaning silver, let’s first find out what causes the tarnish on your jewelry.

    Why Does Silver Tarnish?

    Pure silver does not tarnish easily under normal circumstances unless exposed to sulfur gases. Usually, silver combines with sulfur in the air to form silver sulfide which makes it appear dull.

    Besides, silver tarnishes quickly when combined with other metals. So why then do jewelers do it? Because pure silver is too soft and cannot be used to make jewelry. Combining it with other metals like copper makes it stronger.

    An alloy made up of 92% pure silver and 7.5% copper is called sterling silver and is mostly used to make high-quality silver jewelry such as those you’ll find at David Christopher Jewellers. Unfortunately, copper will cause the silver sterling to tarnish faster since it highly oxidizes in the air.

    But exposure to air is not the only cause of tarnishing on your jewelry. Others include:

    • Exposure to too much heat and moisture.
    • Touching your jewelry with unclean hands. Dirt and oil cause tarnishing.
    • Tying your jewelry with rubber bands that contain sulfur that accelerates tarnishing.

    How to Clean Silver Jewelry Like a Pro

    There are several methods of cleaning silver depending on how tarnished it is. Below we take a look at three effective ones.

    To clean slightly tarnished silver jewelry

    What you need:

    • Aluminum foil
    • Laundry detergent


    1. Line the inside of a bowl with foil, shiny side of the foil facing up, and pour hot water.
    2. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent and mix well.
    3. Soak your jewelry for a few minutes then take them out, rinse with lukewarm water, and towel dry.

    To clean the stubborn tarnish

    Use aluminum foil and baking soda. Baking soda will eat away the sulfide layer that is visible as tarnish. For this procedure, use a glass, bakeware, or ceramic bowl and not a metal one because it will react with the baking soda. Follow these steps:

    1. Cover the bowl with foil, pour water in the bowl, and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Bring it to a boil and soak your silver jewelry for 15 seconds.
    2. Take out using tongs and let it cool. All tarnish will be gone.
    3. Repeat the procedure for extremely tarnished jewelry.

    Note: Do not use this method if your jewelry is encrusted with gemstones.

    To clean jewelry that lacks shine

    Use the following procedure to bring back the shine:

    1. Mix water and cornflour to form a thick paste.
    2. Apply it onto the jewelry and let it dry completely.
    3. Rub it off the jewelry by polishing.

    If you don’t have corn flour, you can use a cream of tartar.

    Other products you can use to remove tarnish include:

    • Ketchup
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Toothpaste
    • Lemon-lime soda
    • Window cleaning agent
    • Ammonia
    • Vinegar

    Apart from the tarnish, you might notice that your jewelry has dirt trapped in the crevices. Use a soft brush to get it out. While at it, avoid rubbing too much, especially when using concentrated products like baking soda, ammonia, and vinegar. This will prevent the silver from obtaining visible abrasions.

    Tips to Prevent Tarnishing

    These tips may not completely prevent tarnishing but they will help a great deal in protecting your silver jewelry from absorbing moisture in the air. Try out the following tips:

    • Add regular white school chalk where you store the jewelry
    • Individually wrap the jewelry in acid-free tissue paper
    • Remove jewelry before you come into contact with water which might discolor it
    • Put your jewelry in a tightly sealed zip lock bag
    • Do not wrap silver jewelry in a newspaper because it contains damaging acids

    Confident About Cleaning Your Silver Jewelry?

    With the simple procedures we’ve shared in this post, you can now clean your silver jewelry like a pro at home. You do not have to buy commercial tarnish removers or use expensive services to bring back that spark.

    Once your jewelry is tarnish-free, remember to follow the tips we also provided to avoid tarnishing it again too soon. Most importantly, avoid touching your jewelry with dirty hands and make sure you store it in a moisture-free environment.

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