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.

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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

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Does anyone know how to clean a silver bracelet that went in a swimming pool? Thanks.

By Kathy from Charleston

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I had the same experince with a bracelet that I wore swimming in the pool. I bought a jar of silver polishing cream, and put the bracelet in the jar, burying it in the cream. Left it in for 2 days, took it out and rinsed the cream off, and polished it. The really shiny finish was gone, stripped off by the chlorine, but the matte finish I wound up with meant thatI could wear the bracelet again.

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Try toothpaste, that's what I clean my silver jewelry with.

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I think a jeweler is your best bet. Cleaning with toothpaste and such is fine for dirt, but you probably have affected the bracelet in some way with the chlorine from the swimming pool.

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If it is silver plated it is ruined but if it is sterling silver you can get that stain off with Cream of Tartar and lemon juice. Cream of tartar is a white powder you can find at the grocery store in the spice rack. Lemon concentrate works if you don't want to buy a lemon. Take a few drops of the juice and about an eighth of a tsp of cream of tartar, then just rub on the silver with this mixture and your fingers. It takes a little time but it always works with no scratching of the silver surface. Add lemon juice and cream of tartar as needed to keep a workable amount going. Good luck.

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

Vera Adam from Margate, SA

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I use a rouge cloth on it. I also bought a gray and white cloth pretty much the same idea as a rouge cloth. Anytime I wear a chain I just run it thru the cloth several times. Lovely.

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I bought a bottle of Tarnex years ago and use it to clean all of my sterling silver including jewelry. One bottle will last a really long time. It smells a little while the tarnish is dissolving but it works in practically an instant.

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I always use toothpaste, not the gel kind.

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The tinfoil and baking soda worked like a charm. Thank you

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Can you help me please? I dropped my silver bracelet in bleach and it has gone grey.

Thank you.

By Ian

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Over the years when a piece of my silver jewelry has gotten forgotten in the depths of my jewelry box, it will tarnish on its own due to normal oxidation. I have found the best cleaner for that is toothpaste. I just put a dab on the item and rub it in real good. For the more intricate designed pieces I use an old toothbrush to get in those crevices. Then rinse in clear water. Plain toothpaste is best but whatever the newer kinds with whiteners and such will work too.

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Please don't use toothpaste on your jewelry. I know it sounds like a good, economical thing to do, but toothpaste is abrasive. It will scratch the surface and your jewelry will never be pretty and shiny again. Use professional jewelry cleaner. It's not expensive and a jar lasts forever.

Also don't use toothpaste on dentures. It will scratch them too.

Bleach is corrosive to metal and I don't think your silver bracelet will ever look like new again. You might try clear nail polish on it to give it some luster. I'm sorry this happened to your bracelet.

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I use cigarette ashes on mine. Just take a damp cloth and dip it in the ashes and rub it in very easy. Then rinse the ashes off. I have been doing this for a lot of years, and never had a problem. Hope this will help you.

roadrouser

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The same thing just happened to me last week while I was cleaning and thought I damaged my rings from having my hands in bleach water. I did the same thing, I first scrubbed the heck out of the rings with a toothbrush and then remembered that I had a silver cleaning cloth and rubbed them until they were all cleaned up and shiny. :)

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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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I sell silver jewelry. I use a silver polishing cloth & sometimes silver polish.

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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 artbeads.com, but I see that they're out at the moment. Riogrande.com 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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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!

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    How do I clean silver earrings?

    By Scott

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    Soak in half ammonia and half water. Then scrub with old toothbrush and dish soap.

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    No problem, just dip them into silver cleaner. It is very simple. To keep my silver from tarnishing, I wrap them in Saran wrap.

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    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

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    I have had a beautiful silver rope necklace for about ten years that has gotten terribly tarnished. I can't remove the tarnish with a chamois cloth because of the intricate rope detail. I've tried Tarn-X and the baking soda/aluminum foil solution to no avail. Does anyone know of an effective way to clean silver jewelry? Every jeweler has told me that they don't do silver.

    By Pam in OH

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    Clean the tarnish off silver objects

    Materials: (tarnished silver, a pan or dish large enough to completely immerse the silver, aluminum foil to cover the bottom of the pan, boiling water, baking soda)

    Line the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil or use a disposable aluminum pan.

    Place silver object on top of the aluminum, making sure the silver touches the aluminum.

    Pour boiling water into the pan until the object is completely covered.

    Add about baking soda. (about 1/4 cup per liter or 1 cup per gallon of water).

    What will happen?

    As you add the baking soda, the mixture may froth a bit and may spill over. The tarnish will begin to disappear quickly. For badly tarnished silver, you may need to repeat the experiment a 2nd time to remove all traces of tarnish.

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    Another thing you can do is buy "coin cleaner" (some coin stores sell it). I don't remember the chemical in it, but it is a blue liquid, very watery. You soak the silver in it for a few seconds, agitate the solution while it's soaking, wash it off, and the tarnish is gone. I have heard that you should not use it on silver plated objects though. I have a sterling rope chain, and that is what I do for it.

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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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      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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      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. I just dampened the ashes and rubbed them on the ring with my finger. It worked like a charm. It was simple, free, and my fiance never has to know! Lol. Thank you so much. I hope this helps someone else.

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        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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        Can I use denture tablets for cleaning a sterling silver necklace with little diamonds in it that turned black?

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          With regard to the denture tablets, I suspect they will not remove the tarnish. They are not made for that at all.

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          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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          I forgot my silver jewelry in a jar of Connoisseurs Cleaner and it came out all discolored. I found the composition online. It is thiourea, sulfuric acid, and alcohol ethoxylates. Is there any hope to salvage it?

          discolored silver jewelry

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          Home and Garden Cleaning JewelryAugust 3, 2011
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