Cleaning your jewelry, particularly silver pieces that tarnish quickly, is probably not on your priority list. This often-overlooked cleaning project can be easy to put off because the silver items we wear every day, such as the silver earrings we never take off or a favorite necklace, don’t really tarnish that easily. These well-worn items usually only need a light polish every now and then. Finer silver jewelry that has been sitting in boxes or on trays for a long time and has become darkened due to exposure and lack of use may need a more thorough cleaning.
Here we have these simple DIY techniques for removing tarnish and restoring shine to help you keep your silver in good condition.
Baking Soda Paste
To make a paste, combine two parts baking soda and one part water, then gently brush the mixture onto the jewelry. Using a cotton cloth or a microfiber towel, wash and remove. Cornstarch may also be used. To clear the tarnish, simply let the paste dry entirely.
Lemon & Olive Oil
Make a mixture of 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Gently rub the silver with a clean cloth dipped in the mixture until it shines. Rinse well and pat off.
Vinegar & Baking Soda
Allow your silver jewelry to soak in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 teaspoons baking soda for 2-3 hours before rinsing and polishing it.
Cleaning silver jewelry with a tiny amount of diluted toothpaste and a soft-bristle brush works wonders. Make sure the toothpaste isn’t a whitening formula, and avoid using it on silver-plated pieces.
Clean Silver Rings
Since silver shines best when worn regularly, everyday all-silver rings appear to have a consistent amount of gleam. However, rings that have been stored for a long time can need special attention.
If soap and water aren’t enough, rinse any remaining tarnished detail work with a clean toothbrush. Silver rings can also be cleaned using the methods mentioned above.
Depending on the other materials in the jewelry, such as turquoise, pearls, and other gemstones or precious metals, the right technique for cleaning silver rings can vary. Certain cleaning methods can cause damage to these. Baking soda, for example, can scrape soft metals and vinegar can damage porous stones.
Clean Silver Chains
Silver chains fade quickly when exposed to lotions, perfumes, and perspiration, so these delicate objects need extra attention. Fortunately, you can clean chains using the same approach as silver flatware.
When sulfur atoms react with silver, they form silver sulfide, which tarnishes the metal. To make the item sparkle again, this cleaning technique uses aluminum foil to draw the sulfur atoms away from the silver. This technique is successful, but it has an unpleasant odor.
- Aluminum foil can be used to cover the whole surface of a wide bowl or pan.
- Fill the pan halfway with water that has been brought to a boil.
- Stir together 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 teaspoons of salt in the water.
- There will be bubbles. Place the silver jewelry in the solution and carefully stir it in, being careful not to smash the pieces together or against the pan’s edges.
- Allow for up to 5 minutes of resting time. Remove the item and dry fully with a soft fabric.