How do I clean a sterling silver chain that has gone black?
Vera Adam from Margate, SA
If your chain is truly silver, use a good quality silver cream such as Gorham's. Follow the directions. Alternatively, see if your local jeweler will clean it for you for less than the cost of a jar of Gorham's.
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.
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.
I always use toothpaste, not the gel kind.
White toothpaste works OK but I just tried rubbing my rope chain with aluminum foil and it worked much faster.
The tinfoil and baking soda worked like a charm. Thank you
Use silver cleaner, follow instructions carefully and DO NOT SOAK. Once sterling is pitted (that's what happens when you soak it), your only recourse is to take it to a jeweler and see if it can be dipped. It's not expensive but your piece will never be the same.
I have found that a jewelery cloth helps, the white cloth to get grime off and the gray cloth to make it shine.
Listen: it may sound crazy, but the best way to clean sterling silver, old coins, or any worn, age-stained metal is to . . . wait for it . . . urinate on it. The ammonia and urea react only with the grime and substances causing discolouration, while the natural vitamins and warmth protect the metal from too much damage; you've heard the phrase, 'Going to spend a penny . . .' During the industrial revolution, people used to pee into barrels for use in cleaning products, and each time they did, their payment was a penny. Of course, cleaning product manufacturers would rather us not know that the best damn cleaning product costs little more than a glass of water, and an hour or so.
Thank you all for the tips.
I just cleaned a silver necklace that had turned black.
Foil in a bowl of water and baking soda did the trick
I do have a little hint for some of you and that is,
Keep your silver jewelery in a PreZerve Organizer and that will leave your silver shiny after it has been cleaned for years.
I bought mine at the Toronto Shopping Channel, but I am sure it's available in the States since it comes from there.
the best way to clean silver is just take some toothpaste in your hand and rub your silver with it as you would use a hand wash and it will make the silver just like new in a couple of seconds.
Further to the toothpaste idea: I save my worn out electric toothbrush heads and using them works really well to get into any detail on your silver pieces. Just hook up the old head onto the electric base and polish away!
I tried to clean my silver chain with bleach. I am really stupid because it turned jet black. I think I will have to take it to a jewelers, I tried all the above things but they only got bits of it off. So the moral is, do NOT use bleach!
My silver chain was badly tarnished. I used that toothpaste method and my chain looks brand new.
You guys are the BEST! Just a few days ago I had used Peroxide to lighten my dark hair and had no idea that it would tarnish the chain. Then surfing around I read above about the toothpaste...GREAT solution! TskTsk! The things peeps do with Bleach. Thanks again! Now I have minty fresh Silver!
Toothpaste worked fine. Thanks guys. How long does it take for the minty fresh smell to wear off :-)
Toothpaste and a toothbrush works wonders. Just lightly scrub and rinse. :)
I have a good silver chain, and it is black so I am hoping that the baking soda and tin foil will work. Will tell you how it goes. Thanks for the heads up.
Dip the silver chain in tarn-x and all tarnish is gone!
I have not been able to wear my silver ball necklace and earrings because they were tarnished. I used the toothpaste and toothbrush, it worked like a charm. My set looks new and I'm wearing it out tonight.
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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