Sparkling Silver - How to Clean your Silver Jewellery October 18 2013

One of the most common questions I am asked is ....."How do I clean my  silver jewellery? "

Silver tarnishes when it reacts with hydrogen sulphide in the air.  High humidity increases the rate at which silver tarnishes. I know from experience of exhibiting in marquees that if it has been raining or there is generally a lot of moisture in the air my silver runs the risk of tarnishing. Touching your jewellery with oily hands or hands that have just been in contact with food can also cause premature tarnishing. 

How to clean silver

There are several ways to clean your silver jewellery. The most obvious tip is to try to keep your silver tarnish free by cleaning at the first signs of tarnishing. If your jewellery becomes tarnished try one of the following methods.

Light tarnishing

Use a silver cloth which has been impregnated with silver polish and gently rub over the jewellery. The silver cloth will blacken and your jewellery will regain its shine. Buff with a clean dry cloth to enhance the shine and remove excess polish. 

Silver wadding which has been impregnated with silver polish can also be used , although this can be very messy.

Commercially produced silver dips can be useful to clean silver chains and items that may 'catch' with a cloth.

Medium tarnishing

1.Baking Soda

 

The safest method which won't damage your jewellery is to use baking soda. Make a paste from baking soda and rub onto your jewellery with your fingers and/or a soft cloth, then rinse with water and dry. Soft toothbrushes and fine paint brushes can be used to help clean those difficult to reach areas. Repeat as necessary.

 

 

 

2. Toothpaste 

Toothpaste can be used to clean silver, however the abrasives in the toothpaste can cause the surface to become matt so this method is best kept for matt finished silver.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Baking Soda, Aluminium & Hot Water

This method is good for silver chains and jewellery pieces with 'difficult to reach areas'. Do not with jewellery with stones or pearls as it may cause them to become dull. Line a glass dish with aluminium foil, add some baking powder and table salt the add boiling water then add your jewellery. Leave for a few minutes then rinse and dry your jewellery.

 

 

Heavily tarnished jewellery

Heavily tarnished jewellery may need more than one treatment. Select the most appropriate method and repeat as required for the optimum result.

 

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