Share a TipCheck out these tips or, if you have something to add to this guide, click to share your own tip!
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 Monique from Somerset, UK
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 Hays from Yorktown, VA
I once heard that monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be used to clean and shine any pure stainless metal, like gold and silver.
So, I tried the cleaning method. First, I placed a teaspoon of MSG in a piece of cloth then put my ring on it and rubbed the cloth with MSG against the ring for several times. Then I washed the ring and wiped it dry. And the process was indeed very effective!
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.
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!
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.
Tie a few pieces of blackboard chalk in cheesecloth and store it with your sterling silver jewelry.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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?
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.
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 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
I sell silver jewelry. I use a silver polishing cloth & sometimes silver polish.
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.
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
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.
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.
How do I clean silver earrings?
Soak in half ammonia and half water. Then scrub with old toothbrush and dish soap.
No problem, just dip them into silver cleaner. It is very simple. To keep my silver from tarnishing, I wrap them in Saran wrap.
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?
If the bracelet was plated in silver it may have removed this. Try rubbing the chain together to see if that brightens them up. If it does then you may not have lost the finish. I like the tbsp. baking soda in an aluminum foil pan with boiling water added. Set jewellery in there and leave it until the water is cool. Or use a glass dish and a hand sized piece of foil.
I love the tarnished patina that the cleaner has made these!! I know it's probably not super helpful, but let me know if you would ever consider selling this set to an adoring home! : )
Did you get any help for this? I did the same with a necklace - left too long in "Jeweler's" liquid cleaner. I left it in too long along with decent costume earrings & now my real silver necklace is black and other colors! Help!
I had the same problem yesterday and I learned that leaving it in cleaner too long makes it have a weird colored film. I couldn't find help so I took a sanding sponge like u use for sanding walls and it looks brand new!
Wrights Sterling Silver polish! The paste kind... I left me SS nevklace and pendant in the ammonia based liquid SS cleaner too long. When I took it out it was grayish and dull. I thought I had ruined it but I just polished it up with the Wrights SS paste cleaner and they look brand new! Yay! No jeweler needed. Not sure if it would still work if your jewelry was left so long it turned black, but its worth a try!
I left mine in the silver jewelry cleaner too long and it had this really white coating over it, it was no longer shiny but I used a nail buffer, one that wasn't like a full on nail file and then used rubbing alcohol on the ring and now it looks brand new!
I left my silver jewelry in silver jewelry cleaner too long and now it's a dull, whitish color. I've tried to use a soft cloth and polish them, trying to bring back the shine, but nothing has helped. Can anyone help?
Put some foil in a pan, then add some baking soda, about 1/4 cup
bring to a boil, cut the heat off, let them stand in water a few minutes, rinse your jewelry off with cold water..This will do the trick...
Can I use denture tablets for cleaning a sterling silver necklace with little diamonds in it that turned black?
With regard to the denture tablets, I suspect they will not remove the tarnish. They are not made for that at all.
How do I clean a silver bracelet containing garnets?
If the bracelet is dirty(not tarnished), soak it in a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of ammonia for 1/2 hour then rinse and air dry. The stones will sparkle. If the bracelet is tarnished, use a pea sized dab of silver polish or white toothpaste (not gel), rub it into the wet bristles of an old soft toothbrush, then use the brush all over the bracelet.
Do not scrub too hard, because if the bracelet is silver plate. it may come off. Rinse and air dry. Do not use either of these methods on opal, pearl or real turquoise jewelry. I have cleaned both good and costume jewelry. The only problem I have ever had was some "jewels" came unglued after soaking. Never had a problem with real stones. Hope this helps.
I want to know the acid used on silver jewelry for whitening? Thanks.
I have a sterling silver bracelet that I wore when washing my hands with Betadine scrub, it has now gone light gold! Can anyone please tell me how to fix it? Thank you.
Does Totally Awesome clean silver necklaces? If it does how do you use it for this purpose?
By Lavii D.
This is a guide about cleaning silver with aluminum foil. While this is a widely shared method for cleaning silver, it can cause permanent damage to your silver items. It is best to avoid this method, particularly when cleaning valuable items.
This is a guide about cleaning a silver necklace. Special polish and cloths are available to clean tarnish from silver or you can use a few common household items.
This is a guide about cleaning a silver bracelet. Polish your silver jewelry to keep it beautiful and free of tarnish.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
How can I remove tarnish from silver plate jewelry? The toggles become almost black, and even the sterling silver, too!
By Kathleen Reynolds from St. Louis , MO
Just get some regular toothpaste and a rag or old toothbrush, and rub the toothpaste on. Then wash it off and dry it. Should be shiny again. (09/03/2010)