Did you know? Baking soda is a versatile product for cleaning purposes including silver.
Worried that your precious silver jewellery will turn back this festive season? We have some super simple hacks that will get them shining just in time. All you need is basic ingredients that are easily available.
Here are some tips to clean and care for your silver jewellery…
Good to know:
As pure silver is too soft for making jewellery, sterling silver is used for this purpose. The latter is usually made from copper (92.5% silver; 7.5% copper) and sometimes from zinc or nickel.
Pure silver doesn’t tarnish easily. But sterling silver oxidizes quickly and discolours the metal in no time. Oxidation occurs when it comes into contact with oxygen and sulfur.
Easy ways to clean your silver jewellery
This can be done with available household items or other cleaning solutions.
The aluminum foil method
It is one of the easiest ways to clean your silver. Boil some water and pour it in a bowl lined with aluminum foil. Add some baking soda and salt to the mixture. Dip your jewellery in this solution. Within a few minutes the tarnish from your silver will disappear. Remove it from the dip, run under clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
Please note: This method of cleaning silver is not suitable if your ornament is encrusted with crystals, gemstones or pearls.
Tip: When wearing silver jewellery, avoid contact with sulfur-containing food products such as onions, eggs and materials like latex and wool.
Baking soda is a versatile product for cleaning purposes including silver. You can mix it with water to make a thick paste and rub the mixture with a soft cloth or a brush over your prized trinkets. When your jewellery is shiny again, simply clean the items with water and dry them completely.
If your pieces are heavily tarnished and you haven’t cleaned them for years, you can make a solution of baking soda (2 tbsp.) and white vinegar (1/2 cup) to soak the silver. The whole process may take up to 2-3 hours. Keep checking every occasionally, until done. Clean with water and dry.
The trusted detergent powder
Use any nonabrasive detergent or cleaning powder and a soft bristled toothbrush. Ensure that the detergent, brush, your hands and the jewellery are completely dry or else this method won’t work well.
Dip the brush in the powder and rub your silver pieces with it. Run it under tap water and dry. This process is also useful if you need to clean silver in a hurry. All it takes are 2-3 minutes to clean small items that are mildly tarnished, otherwise, it may take longer. Be careful and do not using your fingers to clean instead of the brush. The tarnish will blacken your fingers and nails and it won’t clear for a day or two even if you clean use soap.
Commercial silver cleaning agents
There are many commercial solutions available to clean silver. It is best to follow the specifications. Make sure to dip the silver as long as instructed and avoid cleaning with the solution if it has gemstones. If you use a polish, use a soft cleaning cloth (flannel or pure cotton) to rub it on the jewellery. When done, run it under clean water and dry.
Taking care of your silver jewellery
With some preventive measures, you can reduce the amount of tarnish on your silver as well as keep them safe from unnecessary scratches that might occur during the cleaning process.
- Wear your silver after applying your makeup. The same applies for application of perfumes and lotions too. Chemicals in cosmetics and perfumes can damage the shine and cause discolouration in the metal.
- Ensure that your silver doesn’t come into contact with household chemicals such as liquid bleach, harsh chemical cleaning agents, rug cleaners, air fresheners, etc. Remove it before swimming as chlorinated water can harm silver.
- Avoid contact with sulfur-containing food products such as onions, eggs and materials like latex and wool when wearing silver jewellery.
- Completely dry your silver before storing them away. This applies to both sweat and water. Perspiration can make the metal dull. You can simply air dry your items after use and before storing them.
- Use airtight bags to store your precious baubles. One of the best ways to do so is to wrap individual pieces in soft cotton cloths and place it inside clean sealable plastic bags or any other airtight bag. You can also wrap silver in aluminum foil and place it inside a bag or box.
- You can place a piece of chalk inside the storage container as it can absorb excess humidity and delay the silver tarnish process.
With just a little effort you can keep your silver shining like new and continue to enjoy wearing your ornaments.