Silver jewelry pieces suit almost every outfit but they tend to tarnish or become rusty easily due to long exposure to weather elements after repeated use.
Here are 10 simple and low-cost solutions to cleaning any silver jewelry, especially necklace, with common household products or homemade items. The right maintenance routine will help you make the best out of your necklace collection.
You can try this simple method with the items always available right at your home. It will take 30 seconds to 3 minutes to clean your jewelry that has turned yellow or black.
Citric acid reacts to oxidized layers of metals and removes heavy rust. Lemon juice contains citric acid in a high level. Vinegar also has an acidic property that can eliminate the tarnishing effects.
Squeeze a lemon and add the juice into a solution of hot salt water. Place the tarnished jewelry pieces in it and leave them for 5 minutes approximately. Bring them out and dry with tissue or a soft cloth.
You can also soak your rusty silver jewelry in the mixture of white vinegar and baking soda for two to three hours. Then take 1 cup of vinegar and add 4 tablespoons of soda. You can increase or decrease the amount maintaining the same proportion. Remove and rinse off with cool water and dry thoroughly.
You shouldn’t use toothpaste to clean your sterling silver necklace and highly-polished silver. You should only use it to shine your matte and satin silver jewelry.
Toothpaste selection is also important in this case. You have to pick a toothpaste that doesn’t contain whitening agents, artificial coloring, and baking soda. These additives can leave small but distinct scratches. Toothpaste alone is comparatively less abrasive than these elements.
Sprinkle some water on the jewelry, dab a little amount of toothpaste on it, and rub lightly with a soft brush. Scrub every nook and corner gently and then wipe off with a paper towel or tissue.
Ketchup is made of tomatoes and so it contains acetic acid. Hence, it acts as a natural cleaner like vinegar. It is a common stuff found in your refrigerator or pantry. Acetic acid can help remove the tarnish of silver jewelry striping down the oxidization.
Dip your silver jewelry pieces in the ketchup and let them sit for around 10 minutes. Take them out, rinse under clean water, and wipe off using a soft and clean piece of cloth. This is a great method to polish and bring the lost shine of any antique silver jewelry pieces back.
Take half cup clear ammonia and dissolve it in a cup of warm water. Soak your jewelry in the solution for approximately 10 minutes. Bring it out, wipe clean gently, and dry thoroughly.
You can also rub conditioner on your clean silver trinkets to prevent tarnish.
Make a paste of cornstarch adding some water. Use a wet cloth to apply on your silver jewelry and let it dry. Then rub off with a rough towel or cheesecloth or mildly abrasive something else. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can try cream of tartar too.
Chalk absorbs moisture and prevents silver from tarnishing. So, you can place a couple of chalks along with your silver bracelet or necklace to keep it shiny.
Take an aluminum pot and fill with a bowl of boiling hot water. Add 1 tablespoon powdered laundry detergent to the water. Now place your silver inside and let it rest for 5 minutes maximum. Remove it, rinse under cold water, and air dry. Your jewelry will sparkle again!
Mild dish soap won’t remove tarnish, but it can help clean your silver jewelry.
Take a carbonated drink like coke or coca cola and pour it into a bowl. Soak the silver for 10 minutes nearly, remove and dry. You can substitute the soda water with beer.
Spray window cleaner onto a rag or soft toothbrush. Gently scrub your silver jewelry. It will be restored to its original state.
You can use alcohol too, such as vodka. Squirt a few drops of alcohol on a soft cloth and rub the jewelry.
Hand sanitizers serve as a great polishing material besides fighting germs. Pour some into a bowl to soak your jewelry pieces for 5 minutes, or dip a clean cloth into sanitizer and rub the jewelry with that cloth.
To wrap it up, all these methods can help clean your silver jewelry. But you shouldn’t soak the jewelry with hollow sections in water. This is because sometimes a material is used to fill inside them that expands when damp. If you want to use cloth or toothbrush for drying the jewelry, make sure that you find lint-free cloth and soft toothbrush.
1. Q. Can I clean sterling silver without any baking soda?
Ans: Baking soda is actually too harsh for jewelry. You can use sea salt instead of baking soda.
2. Q. How to clean sterling silver jewelry with gemstones?
Ans: Silver jewelry with crystals or gemstones should be cleaned with mild dish soap, a sterling silver polish or baking soda toothpaste. These don’t hurt the silver or gems. But you need to make sure that the toothpaste doesn’t contain tartar control, whiteners except for baking soda, other similar chemicals or any kind of gel.