Silver is one of the most popular metals for making jewellery and practical household items such as cutlery. The natural characteristic of this metal is oxidation, which causes it to turn black. Here are some tips on how to clean silver at home and how to prevent tarnishing.
How to clean silver at home?
The tarnishing of silver is caused by oxidation, which results in a thin corroded layer on jewellery and other products made from this metal. Corrosion in this case is a natural process and cannot be prevented completely. You can, however, slow it down, especially by better storage.
Silver should be stored in a dry and ideally dark place. You can use special bags or boxes for this purpose. Regular maintenance is also important, via professional products or a special silver cloth. Both types of products are manufactured by a number of manufacturers and are widely available. To use them, simply apply the cleaning product and then blot with a cloth.
Source: PixabayYou can also use alternative methods to clean silver, using products commonly found in households. Examples of these include baking soda, salt, vinegar or loosening powder. Before applying all of the procedures described below, it is advisable to run the jewelry or cutlery through plain water with soap applied with a toothbrush.
How to clean silver with baking soda and vinegar
Many procedures for cleaning silver use a basic aid – aluminum. This can be conveniently replaced with aluminum foil, which is commonly used in the kitchen. For the first way to clean silver, you will need a non-metallic bowl, water, baking soda and baking powder.
- Fill the non-metallic bowl with aluminum foil.
- Boil water to 80-90°C and pour it into the bowl.
- Add a teaspoon of baking soda or baking powder.
- Dip the jewelry into the bath and leave it there for about 3-5 minutes.
- Then rinse the jewelry with clean water and pat dry.
You can use the same steps in case of cleaning silver with vinegar. Vinegar is commonly used for cleaning, and apart from silver you can also use it to clean a burnt iron or joints in the bathroom.
How to clean silver from sulfur using salt and tinfoil
Alobal or aluminum also uses another process to clean silver and jewelry made of this metal. You will need a pot and salt to perform it.
- Line the pot with tinfoil, the more the less.
- Place the jewelry in the pot.
- Add a tablespoon of salt and stir.
- Pour in hot water.
- Leave for a while.
- Rinse the jewelry with water and wipe.
You can then polish the silver jewelry for a better effect. The above combination will create an electrochemical reaction that will remove rust from the jewelry. Adjust the immersion time according to how effective the procedure will be. It is not recommended to apply if the jewellery contains precious stones, zircons or pearls.
How to clean silver with rhinestones
If you are looking for a way to clean silver with stones, you should avoid procedures that are based on immersing jewelry in liquid. So rather than “leaching” a ring, or perhaps an earring, focus on wiping it with a cotton cloth.
- Prepare hot water and dishwashing detergent.
- Mix them together.
- Soak a cloth in the solution and wipe the jewel with it.
- Finally, rinse the jewel with clean water. And polish.
You can run a toothbrush over the pairs and other harder to reach areas. An alternative way to clean silver with rhinestones is to soak it in a cup of vodka for five minutes. After five minutes, remove the jewelry and scrub with a cloth. This procedure is particularly suitable for rings.
How to clean silver with loosening powder
Another way to clean silver uses loosening powder:
- Mix three parts baking powder with one part water.
- You will get a kind of paste.
- Dampen the jewel.
- Apply the paste to the jewel. Use a fabric that does not let the thread through.
You can even change the fabric until the jewel is completely clean. Then rinse and wipe dry.
You can also combine the sprinkling powder with the foil. Prepare a cup, foil, loosening powder and a needle:
- Wrap the jewelry in foil and sprinkle it with baking powder.
- Punch holes in the foil.
- Place it in the mug.
- Pour hot water over it.
Let it sit for a few minutes. For more effectiveness you can use vinegar again.
How to clean silver jewellery using lemon
Among other effective ways to clean silver is lemon. Prepare a container of hot water and squeeze lemon into it. Add three tablespoons of salt and place the jewel in the bath. Let it soak there for five minutes and then dry it with a soft cloth or cotton wool.
Other methods to clean silver
There are a number of other granny tips that should help you with cleaning silver. One of them is to use toothpaste. However, jewellers don’t recommend this too much as there is a greater risk of scratching. If you do opt for it, make sure you don’t use a toothpaste with whitening effects.
Less effective methods to clean silver are then to use Coca-Cola, liquid washing powder or cigarette ash. However, if you only need to get rid of slightly embedded dirt, these options can also help.