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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.
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How do you clean a silver chain? I have been told that vinegar can get it clean.
Tina from BC, Canada
Here's a way to clean silver rope and badly corroded silver coins.
For coins: Wet the coin with water and rub it with regular aluminum cooking foil. You can leave the background dark to highlight the detail of the coin. Metal detectorists who find medieval period coins in the UK use this method. I use it when cleaning shipwreck silver coins. To clean silver rope chain or to thoroughly clean silver coins, put them into an ordinary rock tumbler with water and balls of aluminum foil (the drum should be half full). Only do one coin at a time. It usually takes only a few hours to clean the worst coins and rope. You should check your item once every hour to make sure you don't overdo it. If you don't have a rock tumbler you could try a plastic bottle with tight lid and simply hand shack it using the foil balls and water as stated above.
Note: Only coins that are severally corroded due to be buried on land or sea should be cleaned. These require cleaning only to make the detail visible. Many silver coins have added value because of discoloration so don't remove it! Take your valuable or heirloom silver rope to a professional for cleaning. I hope this helps someone. (01/13/2006)
I just cleaned two silver chains the other day by soaking them in vinegar. Worked great. I let them soak for few hours then rubbed them with jewelry cloth. (01/13/2006)
You will need:
Lay in the piece of jewelry, sprinkle in a very generous amount of Soda.
Pour over the boiling water, note ~ here 2 things will happen, 1 it will foam & 2 you may smell something (Reminds me of copper, or dirty pennys.) It is cleaning all the body grease & grim off the jewelry.
The method used for the gold is the same, however OMIT the foil.
Note: It may take more than one cleaning. After I do this once, I take the jewelry out and paste baking soda on it and rub with an old toothbrush. Then I repeat the above steps until it is as clean as I want it. (01/14/2006)
By Paula in GA
My hubby who is a coin collector uses olive oil and a soft cloth to polish coins. He swears by it, and it does not harm the coin. (01/14/2006)