Silver jewelry is one of the most treasured gifts that you can give someone. The bright, malleable metal looks gorgeous as rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. However, this delicate metal can tarnish easily without proper care. How to clean silver jewelry is fairly straightforward, but let’s get an understanding of why silver tarnishes first.
Why does silver tarnish?
The main cause of silver jewelry looking dirty or tarnished is a simple chemical reaction known as oxidation. This occurs when silver is exposed to oxygen, which naturally happens during the life of silver jewelry. It’s a completely natural process with no negative side effects for the wearer. The best way to prevent any tarnishing on silver jewelry is to wear it often – so show off that gorgeous bling! Let’s get on to how to clean silver jewelry.
However, you probably don’t wear ALL of your silver jewelry at the same time, leaving the unworn pieces prone to tarnishing in their jewelry boxes. You wouldn’t be the only one that’s opened a jewelry box, excited to wear that gorgeous bracelet from grandma only to see it’s dark and tarnished from lack of use. Luckily, it’s so easy to clean silver jewelry with what you already have at home!
How to clean silver jewelry?
First, let’s take a look at your jewelry and try to figure out exactly the best way to clean it. Most of these at-home methods work best with jewelry that doesn’t have too much-oxidized detail, as this detail will be lost if cleaned away. Pieces that are particularly fragile are probably best brought to the jeweler’s for professional cleaning. This includes pieces that have precious stones or pearls – these methods may be too much for such delicate jewelry details.
Method 1: Dish soap, baking soda, and warm water
Fill a bowl with warm water, and add a squirt of dish soap and a half tablespoon of baking soda. This mixture is great for a thorough clean of any grime build-up on other types of jewelry as well. I like to let the jewelry sit for about 30 seconds in the solution before gently using a super soft toothbrush (a kid’s toothbrush is perfect for this) to clean the jewelry. Take your time doing this, and once you’re satisfied, rinse your jewelry under some lukewarm water (don’t forget to plug the sink!) and gently pat dry with a microfiber cloth.
Method 2: The Aluminum Foil Hack
This hack will take a little more time and patience but is a fantastic way to clean silver as it transfers the tarnish from silver jewelry to aluminum foil. Boil some water and line a heatproof bowl with some aluminum foil – the shiny side needs to be touching the silver to work. Carefully pour the boiled water into the bowl, then add two teaspoons or so of baking soda. Using tongs or chopsticks, carefully place the silver jewelry in the bowl, making sure it’s making complete contact with the foil. If you’re cleaning multiple pieces with this method, make sure they don’t touch.
Let the jewelry sit for around 10 minutes, before removing from the solution. Again, use chopsticks or a pair of tongs – the water will be hot! Carefully pat the jewelry dry with a microfiber cloth, and they should be shining good as new, completely tarnish-free!
Method 3: Commercial Products
If you are finding that the above method are not effectively removing the tarnish you can look into a stronger method like some of these products you can easily get from Amazon. Check them out if you are finding some really stubborn tarnish!
Now you know how to clean silver jewelry. It’s easy and worth the small amount of effort to make your piece look like new again.