How to keep silver jewelry bright & shiny

How to keep silver jewelry bright & shiny

Let's face it; in the middle of winter we could all use an indoor project! What better time than now to shine up your silver jewelry that may have dulled while not being worn. 

Tarnishing is a natural process that happens when the silver is exposed to air, and it's very common for your silver to develop a filmy feeling, then slightly yellow. Left for too long you will see a darker yellow and sometimes even a grey or black tone.

If your silver reaches that point, all is not lost! Follow these tips to get your silver sparking again!

What is the best way to clean silver jewelry?

It's important to use the right method to ensure that your precious pieces shine bright. One of the most effective and gentle ways to clean silver jewelry is by using a simple homemade solution using some super common household items: aluminum foil, baking soda, and hot water.

Start by lining a bowl or sink with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Place your silver jewelry on top of the foil, making sure each piece is touching the foil. Next, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the jewelry. Then, pour hot water over the jewelry, making sure it is completely submerged. Let the jewelry soak for about 10 minutes.

Why does this work?

The combination of aluminum foil, baking soda, and hot water creates a chemical reaction that helps remove tarnish from silver jewelry. The tarnish, which is caused by a chemical reaction between the silver and sulfur in the air, is transferred from the jewelry to the aluminum foil during the cleaning process.

What are the final steps?

After the jewelry has soaked for about 10 minutes, carefully remove each piece from the solution and rinse it under warm water. Use a soft cloth or a toothbrush to gently scrub away any remaining tarnish or dirt. Finally, dry the jewelry thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth.

What should I be careful of?

While this homemade cleaning method is generally safe for most silver jewelry, there are a few precautions to keep in mind. Avoid using this method for jewelry that contains pearls, as the solution may damage them.

Additionally, if your silver jewelry has intricate or delicate designs, be cautious when scrubbing to avoid bending or breaking the pieces.

Any other ways to do this?

If you prefer not to use the homemade solution, there are other methods you can try. One option is to use a silver polishing cloth, which is specially designed to remove tarnish from silver.

You can also make a mixture of baking soda & vinegar (1/2 cup of white vinegar mixed with 2 Tbsp of baking soda), toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush, and surprisingly, ketchup (the acid in the ketchup works well to remove tarnish)!

If you have intricate pieces or find you're spending too much time polishing, it may be time to invest in an ultrasonic cleaner. There are may affordable options on the market now, and these make light work of tarnished silver!

Shiny happy jewelry.

Keeping your silver jewelry clean and shiny doesn't have to be a daunting task. By using the homemade solution or exploring alternative methods, you can easily restore the brilliance of your silver jewelry.

Just remember to handle your jewelry with care and take the necessary precautions to ensure its longevity.

REMEMBER: The best way to avoid silver tarnishing in the first place is to (a) wear it all the time as the constant exposure to soap and water from handwashing & showering will keep natural tarnishing at bay, and (b) when not being worn, store your silver in a sealed plastic baggie in a dry place (ie NOT the bathroom!).

Let me know your tips & tricks in the comments, or if you've tried any of the above cleaning methods and how they worked for you!

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