If you want to have your silver jewelry in pristine condition and wondering how to do that then their are a couple of ways that you can go about it. You can either decide to purchase expensive products to clean your jewellery or simply employ homemade cleaners. If you decide to purchase an expensive silver polish, be careful on the brand that you choose because some of them can be very harsh on your jewelry.
On the other hand, you can go along with DIY home tactics. Not only are they cost friendly, but most of the items that you’ll be using may already be available at home.
Here are 13 tips and tricks for cleaning and taking care of your sterling silver jewelry.
1. Water and dishwashing soap
This is one of the best ways of removing tarnish from your 925 silver jewellery. Before you adopt any other method, always try the old dishwashing soap and water trick. This is because of its non-abrasive nature. However, you should ensure that the dishwashing soap is free of ammonia and phosphate. The process of removing tarnish is quite simple; just mix the two (soap and water) and then warm the mixture. You can then apply it on a non-abrasive piece of cloth and wipe your silver chain, ring or any other piece of jewelry with it. You will find that the tarnish comes off smoothly, leaving you with a shiny piece of jewelry. However, if this method fails, you can use one of the other methods listed below.
2. Make use of toothpaste
Everyone has toothpaste in their homes (for mouth hygiene is very important). However, apart from brushing teeth with it, you can also use it to clean your silver jewellery. The technique itself is quite simple. Just rub the toothpaste onto the silver and ensure that you cover all edges and crevices. You should then rub off the paste by using a paper towel to uncover your glistening silver piece.
Note: If you want it to be more effective, you should make use of the tartar control toothpaste. This is because of its high concentration of hydrated silica which is quite effective in removing the tarnish. However, if you don’t have one, don’t fret. Any type of toothpaste will do the job.
3. Dip it in vinegar
Vinegar is one of the oldest fixes in the book. It can pretty much be used in any household cleaning chore and cleaning silver jewelry is not an exception. The process itself is simple; just pour half a cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking powder into a small bowl. Mix the contents until you see some bubbling reactions. Now, place the silver jewelry into the bowl. Allow it to remain in the bowl for 2-3 hours. Once the timer runs out, you can remove the jewelry and run it under cool tap water in order to remove the residue on it.
Your jewelry will come out looking as good as new.
4. Use hand sanitizer
One of the least abrasive methods of cleaning silver sterling jewelry is by using hand sanitizer. Not many people know about this, yet it is a common feature in many households. The method is pretty simple; just take some sanitizer over a cotton cloth and then rub it onto the jewelry to remove the rust. Keep rubbing the jewelry until all the tarnish is wiped out and be careful of missing out any residue on the jewelry. If there happens to be any residue, you can rinse it off using warm water or simply rub it off by using a moist cloth and then pat dry immediately. This method will ultimately leave your jewelry untarnished and ready to be worn.
5. Use hair conditioner
You can eliminate the tarnish on your silver rings, earrings, and bracelets by soaking them in the hair conditioner for a few minutes. After soaking, you should then rinse them properly with water to remove the residue and hair conditioner smell. Doing so, you’ll have your jewelry shining in no time.
Hair conditioner is also a great way of preventing your silver jewelry from getting a black oxidized layer. Just smear it with the conditioner and wipe all over to apply the coat onto it. This method will naturally give your jewelry the protection it deserves.
6. Make use of lemon juice
Lemon juice is an effective way of removing the tarnish from your silver sterling jewelry. Not only is the method safe (and less abrasive) but also it will leave your silver pieces looking great. To use this method, you will need 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 and a half cups of water and half a cup of instant milk. Mix all three in a small bowl and place the silver pieces onto the bowl and leave them there overnight. You can then remove the pieces, put them under running water, and dry them off with a cloth.
If you need a quick fix, you can just use the lemon juice only. Just pour the undiluted juice onto a cloth and wipe the silver jewelry in areas where you see the tarnish. Dry off after finishing and then polish it with a soft cloth.
7. Use a window cleaner
Window cleaners are safe to use when cleaning your jewelry. There are two ways that you can go about it. The first option involves you spraying the window cleaner onto a piece of cloth and then using the cloth to wipe the silver jewelry. Once you’ve managed to remove all the tarnish, you can then wipe the piece with another cloth to dry it.
The second option involves spraying the window cleaner directly onto the jewelry. You should then scrub off the tarnish by using a toothbrush and wipe off the jewelry with a clean cloth for an immediate shining effect.
8. Dip the silver pieces in ketchup
What many people don’t know is that tomato ketchup can be used to remove tarnish from silver sterling jewelry. Simply put a bit of ketchup in a bowl and then place your silver pieces inside. Allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes and not a minute more (If you let it sit longer, the acidity from the ketchup may be abrasive to your jewelry). Once you remove the jewelry, you should rinse it in warm water and then dry it off by using a cloth to obtain a shiny appearance.
Note: If the tarnish doesn’t come off after sitting in ketchup for 10 minutes, you can extend the time to 15 minutes and then use a toothbrush to wipe off the tarnish (especially if it has crevices).
9. Get some chalk
Chalk can be useful when it comes to storing your silverware. Tarnish usually develops as a result of the chemical reaction between the metal and Sulphur in the air through a process known as oxidation. High moisture content in the air is known to speed up the tarnishing process. Hence, chalk, which is a good absorber of moisture in the air, controls the rate of oxidation.
Therefore, if you store your jewelry in a drawer, which has chalks, you will effectively slow down the tarnishing process.
Tip: Avoid storing your items in moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms.
10. Aluminum foil to the rescue
You can also make use of an aluminum foil to clean up your silver jewelry. For this process, you will need a piece of aluminum foil, two tablespoons of baking soda, and a liter of water. Boil the mixture and then drop the silverware into the pot for 10 seconds. Use tongs to remove it and then wipe it dry. The tarnish on your silver piece will be long gone.
Note: If the tarnish persists, you can do a slight adjustment in the process. Take a quarter of baking soda and two tablespoons of water and mix them together to form a paste. Apply the paste onto the silverware and then use a toothbrush to scrub the areas, where tarnish still exists. Rinse the paste and pat dry and your silver will be as good as new.
11. Use cornstarch
Cornstarch is another great way of removing tarnish from your sterling silver jewelry. The process is quite simple. Mix equal parts of corn starch with water to form a thick paste. You can then rub the paste all over your silver piece and let it dry. Afterwards, you can use a damp cloth to remove the paste coating (ensure that the cloth is mildly abrasive). The end result will be a shiny piece of jewelry that you never knew existed.
12. Make use of antacid tablets in your home
This method might sound queer but it will definitely give you the results that you need. Just drop two antacid tablets in a bowl/glass of warm water. Place the jewelry inside the solution and let it settle for about 2-4 minutes. Take a toothbrush and brush the jewelry in all areas, where tarnish existed. Remove it, rinse, and then dry the silver with a non-abrasive cloth. You will find all the tarnish gone.
13. Make use of olive oil and lemon juice
Olive oil presents a nice solution to clean your silver jewelry. Just mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with half a cup of lemon juice in a bowl. Take a non-abrasive cloth and soak it in the mixture. Ensure that you rinse the cloth properly before proceeding to wipe out the tarnish from your silver ring, earring, necklace or bracelets. Once you are done, you can dry off the jewelry with another cloth to render a shiny appearance.
It’s not easy preventing silver sterling jewelry from getting oxidized. At some point, you will have to endure the nightmare of removing tarnish from it. However, these 13 tricks will help you clean your jewelry fast and efficiently. Forget about buying expensive tarnish polish and embrace home-made solutions today!