HOW TO CLEAN SILVER JEWELRY: 4 Easy and Effective Methods to Remove Silver Tarnish

HOW TO CLEAN SILVER JEWELRY: 4 Easy and Effective Methods to Remove Silver Tarnish

Sterling Silver Morse Code Bracelets stacked

Silver tarnishing is a common problem that many people encounter with their silverware, jewelry, or other silver items. Tarnish occurs when silver reacts with sulfur compounds in the air, leading to a dull, darkened appearance. Fortunately, there are several tried-and-true methods for removing tarnish and restoring the shine to your silver possessions. In this article, I will explore various techniques and provide step-by-step instructions on effectively getting rid of silver tarnish.

Method 1: Baking Soda and Aluminum Foil

  1. Line a deep container with aluminum foil. 
  2. Fill the container with hot water and add a tablespoon of baking soda per cup of water.
  3. Stir the solution until the baking soda dissolves.
  4. Place the tarnished silver items in the container, ensuring they touch the aluminum foil.
  5. Let the silver soak for a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the level of tarnish.
  6. Remove the silver, rinse it thoroughly with water, and buff it dry with a soft cloth.
Apartment Therapy did a step-by-step picture demonstration cleaning silver flatware HERE

    Method 2: White Vinegar and Baking Soda Paste

    1. Create a paste by mixing three parts baking soda with one part water.
    2. Apply the paste to the tarnished silver using a soft cloth or sponge.
    3. Gently rub the paste onto the silver, focusing on the tarnished areas.
    4. Rinse the silver with water and dry it with a soft cloth.
    5. If stubborn tarnish remains, dampen a cloth with white vinegar and gently rub the tarnished spots.
    6. Rinse the silver again with water, then dry and polish it.

      Method 3: Lemon Juice and Salt

      1. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a bowl and add a teaspoon of salt.
      2. Stir the mixture until the salt dissolves.
      3. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the solution and gently rub it onto the tarnished silver.
      4. Pay extra attention to heavily tarnished areas.
      5. Rinse the silver with water, dry it thoroughly, and polish it with a soft cloth.

      Laurie Brenner goes more in-depth and explains why this method works here: How to Clean Sterling Silver With Lemon Juice | Hunker

      Method 4: Commercial Silver Polish or Dip

      (My favorite method because it's fast and easy.)

      1.  Purchase a reputable silver polish product from a store.
      2. Read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, especially if your piece has gemstones.
      3. Whether you need to apply the polish or dip the tarnished silver please use caution and common sense with these chemicals.
      4. Rinse the silver with water, removing all the polish or dip.
      5. Dry the silver with a soft cloth, buffing it to restore its shine.

      The Silver Dip I would recommend: Silver Dip 10oz - Goddard's (goddards.com)


      Tips for Preventing Tarnish:

      • Know what type of Silver your jewelry is made of. Don't know? Check out this quick article to explain all the different types of silvers used in jewelry.
      • Don’t store your silver jewelry in the bathroom.
      • Consider using chalk, anti-tarnish strips, or cloths when storing silver items in airtight containers to reduce the moisture in the air.
      • Avoid storing silver near rubber or wool, as these materials contain sulfur compounds.
      • Polish silver regularly to maintain its shine and slow down tarnishing.
      • Remove silver jewelry before swimming, going into hot tubs, and using cleaning products.

      Bad Trish wearing jewelry in the hot tub

      The Best Tip for Preventing Silver Tarnish

      WEAR YOUR JEWELRY! Did you know that rubbing against your clothes and skin will prevent tarnishing? Now you do. #themoreyouknow🌈

      Silver tarnish can be frustrating, but with the right methods and a little effort, you can restore your silver items to their former glory. Whether you choose natural remedies like baking soda and lemon juice or opt for commercial silver polish, these techniques will help you remove tarnish effectively. Remember to take preventive measures to minimize future tarnishing. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently tackle silver tarnish and enjoy the beauty of your silver possessions for years to come.

      **Disclaimer: Be cautious when using tarnish-removal methods on silver items that contain gemstones. Some gemstones may be sensitive to certain cleaning agents or techniques, and improper cleaning can cause damage. Always consult a professional or refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning gemstone-adorned silver items. If in doubt, it is best to seek professional advice to ensure the safety and integrity of your gemstones.** Many Gemstone Rings Stacked

      SHOP OUR TOP GEMSTONES - that are safe to use in Silver Dip

      Share your experience!

      Drop a comment below and let me know which method worked best for you. I love hearing from my readers! 

      Looking to add to your collection?

      Check out my extensive collection of high-quality silver jewelry at www.TrishaFlanagan.com. My goal with my jewelry designs is to help empower others through Morse code and positive affirmations. Choose from already-made bracelets and necklaces or create your own personalized message today. 

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      1 comment

      Have you ever heard of someone’s acidic body turning their Sterling silver black? I am very acidic and was super sick for a few days. I had a metallic taste and smell the whole time I was sick. All of my jewelry I was wearing on day 2 of this sickness turned black. I eventually got most cleaned but my husband thinks I’m nuts. Just curious to know if you’ve ever heard of anything like this.
      ———
      Trisha Flanagan replied:
      Hi Amy, I’m sorry to hear that you were so ill. I genuinely hope that you are feeling much better now. While I’m not a medical expert, I can understand your concern with your jewelry turning black so fast. I haven’t experienced anything like what you describe, only the other way around with costume jewelry turning the wearer’s skin blue, green or even black. You have me quite curious about this phenomenon and I would guess it could be a reaction with your body chemistry and the copper within the sterling silver oxidizing (turning black) at a faster rate than usual. Take care, Trish

      Amy

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