5 steps to guide you how to clean your silver jewelry at home with simple household items.
Silver, which is made up of a chemical element called silver nitrate, is one of the oldest and most important metals for human use. In ancient times it was used as currency in many countries. It has also been found in Egyptian tombs from 3000 BC where it was used to make jewelry and religious objects. Silver has always had great value because it does not tarnish or oxidize with age like other metals do so pieces can be passed down through generations without losing their luster.
The most common way to clean silver jewelry at home is by using household items such as baking soda, vinegar or salt water. For more delicate pieces that cannot withstand these strong chemicals, there are professional services available that will charge a fee but offer safe and effective methods.
If you are looking for a safe and effective method to clean your silver jewelry at home, here is a quick guide.
Step 1: Clean the item with warm soapy water first. If there is dirt or grime on the piece that does not come off when gently rubbed with an old toothbrush, use a soft cloth soaked in a mild soap solution or warm water to wipe it all off.
Step 2: If you are dealing with a piece that has some discoloration on the surface, try soaking it in warm salt water for about an hour. Bring water to boil and add 1 teaspoon of salt per cup. The high concentration of salt will cause any tarnish to come off. After removing the piece from the solution, wipe it with a soft cloth soaked in warm water only. Using water on your silver jewelry will leave discoloration and is not advisable because you are dealing with high quality sterling silver that needs care.
Step 3: If the above methods fail to clean your jewelry you can try using baking soda. Put a drop of dish-washing liquid in one bowl and baking soda (about 1 tsp) in another. Put the jewelry that you want to clean into the soapy water for 30 minutes. Remember not to use water on your silver jewelry because it will cause discoloration. If there is buildup, rub it off gently using a soft toothbrush.
Step 4: If the piece still has water spots, take it out of the soapy solution and let it dry on a paper towel for 10 minutes. Then put the jewelry back into the baking soda solution for another 30 minutes. Take it out and wipe it with a soft cloth that is only slightly damp.
Step 5: The final step is to polish the jewelry with a clean, soft cloth and some silver polish as usual after it has dried for at least 30 minutes. You can use commercial silver polishes or make your own by mixing equal parts of water and baking soda. Whenever using store-bought polishes, follow the instructions on the package carefully.
Click here to learn how to clean gold jewelry at home.
If you wear your silver jewelry frequently, it will tarnish and discolor over time no matter how well you take care of it. Cleaning silver jewelry at home is a fun activity when done with your kids. However, if you are not satisfied with the results or if your piece is delicate or risk getting damaged, a good alternative is to take it to a professional jeweler.
They will know exactly how to clean your silver jewelry without you having to do anything.