HOW TO CLEAN SILVER JEWELRY AT HOME



Here's a list of what you'll learn in this post:


  • Cleaning methods:

A. The water+soap method

B. The baking soda+soapy water method

C. Olive oil+lemon juice-the soaking method

D. Olive oil+lemon juice-the tabbing method

E. The white vinegar+baking soda method

  • Cleaning mistakes to avoid
  • How to prevent silver chains from tarnishing


HOW TO CLEAN SILVER JEWELRY AT HOME
HOW TO CLEAN SILVER JEWELRY AT HOME
Silver jewelry is a beautiful accessory for any outfit, but it can tarnish quickly if not properly cared for. Cleaning silver jewelry regularly is important to keep it looking its best. But you don't need to take it to a professional jeweler to get it cleaned - you can do it at home with just a few simple ingredients.


This article will show you how to clean silver jewelry at home using a few different methods. We'll also give you tips on preventing your silver jewelry from tarnishing in the first place. Let's get started!



CLEANING METHODS:


WATER + SOAP


Water and dish soap can clean silver because of their chemical composition. Dish soap is made of surfactants, molecules that lower water's surface tension. This allows the dish soap to penetrate grease and grime on your silverware more easily. The water itself also plays a role in breaking down the dirt and grime on your silver. The H2O molecules are attracted to the dirt and grime, and they work to break it down and remove it from the surface of your silver. Combined, these two elements make for a pretty powerful cleaning solution.


Step 1: Fill a small bowl with warm, fresh water and add some all-natural dish soap.


Step 2: Place your silver jewelry into the solution to soak for 15 minutes.


Step 3: Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to rub the tarnish off. Make sure you scrub all the metal, even in tight places where the tarnish might be hiding.


Step 4: Rinse the jewelry with water. You may also need to repeat this process to remove any remaining tarnish.


Step 5: Allow the jewelry to air-dry on a soft, cotton towel.



BAKING SODA+SOAPY WATER


Water and baking soda are a common combination used for cleaning silver jewelry at home. The two substances work together to create a chemical reaction that helps break down the tarnish on silver and make it shine.


This combination works so well because the soapy water helps to loosen the tarnish while the baking soda acts as an abrasive to remove it.


STEP 1. Soak the sterling silver pieces in warm water and 1tbspn all-natural dish soap. Add baking soda to the mix if your jewelry is especially dirty.


STEP 2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away any remaining tarnish.


STEP 3. To remove any whitish residue left by the baking soda, gently rub the jewelry with a toothbrush dipped in distilled water and then wipe dry with a gentle cotton cloth.


STEP 4. Polish your silver jewelry using a polishing cloth to reveal its natural shine.


STEP 5. Make sure that your silver is completely dry before storing it away since moisture may cause tarnishing.



OLIVE OIL+LEMON JUICE-THE SOAKING METHOD


Olive oil and lemon juice are the perfect combination if you're looking for a natural and effective way for cleaning silver jewelry at home. Here's why this home remedy works so well:


Olive oil is a natural degreaser, which will help break down any dirt or grime built up on your silver.
Lemon juice is naturally acidic, which helps to remove any tarnish that may have formed on the surface of your silver.


Together, these two ingredients make for an effective and gentle cleaning solution that won't damage your silver in any way.


STEP 1. Place your silver jewelry in a bowl of fresh water, allowing it to soak for about 30 minutes.


STEP 2. Add one teaspoon of olive oil, squeeze the juice from half a lemon into the bowl of warm water, and stir with a spoon. The citric acid will help remove tarnish.


STEP 3. Remove your silver jewelry and scrub it with a soft-bristle toothbrush dipped in warm water; repeat this process if needed.


STEP 4. Place your silver jewelry back into the bowl of warm water and add another teaspoon of olive oil and mix well. Allow the silver to soak for another 15 minutes.


STEP 5. Remove your jewelry pieces and allow them to air-dry on a soft, cotton cloth.



OLIVE OIL+LEMON JUICE-THE TABBING METHOD


STEP 1: Add 1 tsp olive oil to a large glass bowl and whisk in a 1/2 cup of lemon juice.


STEP 2: Place a small cotton cloth into the mixture to soak up your homemade cleaning solution.


STEP 3: Wring out the wet cloth and use it to scrub the jewelry clean.


STEP 4: Rinse the silver jewelry with fresh water and allow it to air-dry on a soft, cotton cloth.



WHITE VINEGAR+BAKING SODA


Have you ever wondered why white vinegar and baking soda are such effective cleaning agents? It turns out that these two common household ingredients have some pretty amazing properties when it comes to cleaning silver.


White vinegar is an acid, which means that it can break down tarnish and other buildups on silver. Baking soda, on the other hand, is a base. When these two substances are combined, they create a chemical reaction that is powerful enough to clean silver.


STEP 1: Mix a solution of ½ cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda into a bowl.


STEP 2: Warning: this mixture fizzes. Let your silver jewelry soak in this solution for two to three hours.


STEP 3: Rinse the silver jewelry in freshwater, and allow it to air-dry on a soft, cotton towel.



MISTAKES TO AVOID:


Many think that a product labeled silver polish, cleaner, or dip will do the best job removing tarnish from their sterling jewelry. The truth is harsh chemical products like these can ruin your silver jewelry if you don't know what you're doing! Read on for a list of common cleaning mistakes like this.


1. Boiling Water


Some people think boiling water mimics the ultrasonic cleaners used in jewelry stores, but this is false. Ultrasonic cleaners utilize high-frequency sound waves and heat to remove dirt from hard-to-reach places. The heating temperature in an ultrasonic cleaner is controlled and will never reach the boiling point of 212°F.


Boiling water can cause damage to your gemstones, and not only that, the extreme heat will affect the metal. When metal heats up, it may expand and cause loose gemstones to fall from their settings. When a gem is first placed into boiling water and then rinsed with cold water, the stone may experience thermal shock, causing it to fracture or split.


2. Citric Acid
You can not always use citric acid to clean jewelry. Do not clean opaque gemstones with lemon juice; the citric acid in the lemon juice can affect certain gemstones. For example, pearls dissolve in contact with citrusy substances like lemon juice.


3. Soaps + Detergents
Soaps and detergents are occasionally ok for jewelry cleaning, but only sparingly as they can deposit residue on the metal, causing it to look dull.


4. Toothpaste
Toothpaste consists of abrasive particles that polish tarnish away. However, these same harsh, scrubbing particles scratch silver and cause pits on the surface of the metal to form. Therefore, you should avoid using toothpaste on sterling silver, highly polished silver, or anything plated with silver.

5. Commercial Cleaners

If you're using a commercial cleaner to clean your silver jewelry, do a small patch test before using it on all your silver pieces. You don't want to discover that some of the chemicals in your jewelry cleaner can damage your favorite necklace or bracelet. When in doubt, opt for natural, at-home cleaning methods.


6. Alcohol
Avoid alcohol-based cleaners. There are claims that alcohol, when used to soak or rinse jewelry, aids in the removal of grease. Alcohol can leave a film on your gemstones and metals, which might dull or ruin them over time. Oil and water-based gemstones, such as emeralds and opals, should not be cleaned with alcohol. If you wash these stones with alcohol, the oils will soak into them, and the stones will dry out and crack as a result.


Likewise, contact with other cleaning agents such as chlorine, bleach, antibacterial soaps, and hand sanitizers break down a metal's brilliance over time.


7. Harsh Paper
Never dry silver jewelry with rough paper like paper towels, napkins, or tissues. Rough paper can leave slight scratches on the surface of your jewelry, which will require professional polishing to remove.


8. Rubbing the Wrong Way


Many think polishing is the key to removing tarnish from silver jewelry. The problem is, if you don't know how to polish correctly, you can actually damage your jewelry. For example, when polishing silver jewelry, use a soft, lint-free cloth and gently rub in a circular motion. Don't rub the jewelry back and forth, as this can wear away the metal.

 


HOW TO PREVENT SILVER TARNISH:


There are a few ways to prevent silver tarnish from happening:


1) Preventing silver tarnish starts with keeping silver jewelry away from sulfur-containing compounds. Sulfur-containing compounds are found in perfumes, lotions, makeup, etc. If unsure if a product contains sulfur, you can check the label or ask the manufacturer.


2) Another way to prevent tarnish is to coat your silver with a protective layer. A protective layer like rhodium plating will help to prevent the silver from coming into contact with sulfur-containing compounds. There are a few different metals and products that you can use to coat silver, such as rhodium, platinum, tarnish prevention sprays, etc.


3) Clean silver jewelry regularly; tarnish can build up over time, so use a gentle cleaner like warm water and mild soap to prevent it.


4) Proper jewelry storage is essential in preventing silver tarnish. Proper jewelry storage means storing jewelry in a cool, dry place. Humidity and high temperatures can speed up the tarnishing process.



CONCLUSION


To sum it up, there are a few different ways that you can clean your silver jewelry. However, it's important to note that some methods are better than others. In general, you should avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials when cleaning silver jewelry. Additionally, proper jewelry storage is essential in preventing silver tarnish. By following these tips, you can keep your silver jewelry looking shiny and new. Thanks for reading!