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Cleaning Silver Jewelry

Silver jewelry is very beautiful and complements your attire, whether formal or jeans casual. However, silver has a dark side, tarnish. This is a guide about cleaning silver jewelry.

Coiled silver bead necklace with large silver ball.
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January 7, 2011 Flag
26 found this helpful

To bring the shine back to tarnished silver jewelry, pour hot water into a mug, add three tablespoons of salt (to make an electrolyte), put in some aluminum tin foil and the tarnished silver jewelry. The tarnish (silver sulfide) will then be liberated and be given off as a gas (rotten eggs smell). Rinse with water to reveal super shiny jewelery.

Source: A jeweler friend.

By monique63 from Somerset, UK

February 20, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

How do I clean a sterling silver chain that has gone black?

Vera Adam from Margate, SA

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December 7, 20080 found this helpful
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The tinfoil and baking soda worked like a charm. Thank you

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June 22, 20130 found this helpful

I've used toothpaste (not gel kind) with a small nail brush, old toothbrush or old electric toothbrush head. Works well enough, but sometimes you need something stronger. I hesitate to use anything acidic since it can pit the surface. I know my mother-in-law swears by a tin foil & baking soda bath for her silver serving pieces and the like.

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October 9, 2015 Flag
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I have a silver necklace with opals in silver settings. Is it saft to use the salt, soda, and water with the aluminum foil. Will it damage the opals?

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October 24, 20150 found this helpful
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Yes, Opals are porous and can easily crack; they require oil like Olive Oil gently wiped over to keep it's luster and protection. Never wear opal jewelry in dishwater or other harsh detergents and frequently wipe over with soft oiled cloth.

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July 20, 20160 found this helpful
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I have some custom made opal jewelry. The artist who made them told me to clean my opal jewelry with baking POWDER (NOT baking soda). Just pour a teaspon of BP into a small bowl, and pinch a dap onto the jewlry the rub around. (I have a baby toothbrush that I use for crevices around the stones) then wipe off and "buff" with dry towel. My one ring is in sterling setting with 24k gold inlay. It also polishes those without damage.

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September 23, 2011 Flag

Silver jewelry that has become tarnished can be cleaned by soaking it for a few minutes in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda, and then rubbing it with a soft cloth.

By Eileen from Yorktown, VA

July 9, 2015 Flag
1 found this helpful

After using household bleach for cleaning I realized my favorite silver ring had been tarnished and I was freaking out! I had the impulse to rub it with salt as it is an alkaline and submerge my ring in salted boiling water. It worked in about 25-30 mins!

July 31, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning a silver bracelet. Polish your silver jewelry to keep it beautiful and free of tarnish.

Silver bangle bracelet against white background

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April 2, 2012 Flag
6 found this helpful

My mom and I heard of this cleaning tip a long time ago. Take a cereal bowl and line it with tin foil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of baking soda, place jewelry in the the soda (cover it a bit), and add boiling water.

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January 30, 2014 Flag
3 found this helpful

I used Nair while wearing my brand new sterling silver engagement ring. It tarnished my ring and believe me, I was freaking out. I read tips on here and tried using cigarette ashes.

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July 24, 2012 Flag
4 found this helpful

I work at a silver and native American jewelry store. We use Windex (I've never tried an off brand of glass cleaner), and an old soft toothbrush to get into hard to reach areas. Windex is the ticket!

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October 11, 2010 Flag
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I do outdoor craft shows and love working with beads. I purchased small gift boxes with clear lids about 2 x 3 inches. They look good with one pair of silver plated dangle earrings in each box. They tarnish very quickly and it takes 3 times longer to clean a pair than to make a new pair.

What neutralizes silver oxide (the tarnish on my silver)? I am tired of trying to clean in all the tiny, tiny nooks between the beads. Help please. Thanks.

By Carol from Waynesboro, GA

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October 11, 20100 found this helpful
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I also make jewelry. I usually store sterling silver in a zip-bag with a 3M anti-tarnish strip. When I present jewelry in a box, I place the small zip bag with an anti-tarnish strip underneath the "cotton." I make sure I tell the recipient about storing the jewelry long-term in the bag with the strip. The strips don't last forever, and when they feel like it needs to be replaced, they can place a plain piece of chalk in the bag.

I've gotten my anti-tarnish strips at, but I see that they're out at the moment. sells them in larger quantities, but you need to set up an account to use them (might be worthwhile if you have a sales tax license). Right now they have 1000 1-inch strips for about $40. There are also anti-tarnish zip-bags, and anti-tarnish tissue paper.

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October 14, 20100 found this helpful

Create an "anti tarnish/ tarnish resistant" storage environment for silver:

Follow the guidelines above and use 1 or 2 of the ideas below for storage. All are inexpensive, easily available on the Internet, from a local jeweler, hobby shop and even free. Also all are safe and do not emit fumes, gases or vapors.

1. Tarnish absorbing cloths

Pacific Silver Cloth(Pacific Cloth) or a Silver Tarnish Inhibiting Cloths are great to wrap jewelry in before storing or lay the cloths inside box with jewelry on top or next to the cloth. These cloths have minute particles of silver to attract the sulfur to the cloth. It will become saturated with the sulfur so you will need to change them but, some versions last up to 40 years depending on the amount of silver in the cloth. (Google it) Price average $15/yd.

2. Anti-tarnish strips

Hagerty Silver Strips or 3M Anti-Tarnish Strips absorb the sulfuric gases that cause tarnish. These are Anti Tranish Silver Stripssafe economical way to stay tarnish free. They are paper strips that contain activated charcoal that absorbs the gases. You can just lay them within a drawer or cut them up for compartments or smaller drawers. Jewelry does not need to be laid on them just placed in the drawer. These strips last at least 6 months and you can label/date them so you know when to replace them. You can find them online, at jewelry stores and even hardware stores. A box is roughly $8 - $12 for a pk. of 8. Not bad, huh?

3. Silica Gel granules.

Do not throw away those little packs of that come in your jewelry box,new purse,shoes or medicine bottles! These absorb moisture in the air and retard tarnish. Add one to each drawer to help keep the jewelry box interior dry. Lack of air movement can cause a moist environment. This is why the gel packs are in leather products and more when you purchase them. Since we all throw them away and they come with most everything, you're sure to have quite a few around to save. Store them sealed in a plastic bag and keep them in a dark cool place for future use. This will keep them from absorbing moisture before you need them. Change them every few months. A must in humid climates.

4. Chalk.

Even standard blackboard or sidewalk chalk can be used in a jewelry box. It has amazing absorption qualities and a little piece will work for months to control moisture/humidity.

Follow these simple ideas and guidelines and you'll enjoy your silver with little maintenance for years and still have the jewelry box of your choice.

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October 21, 2011 Flag
3 found this helpful

Rub on toothpaste and just wash off. This works great for silver jewelry!

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August 22, 2011 Flag
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How do I clean silver earrings?

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