3 Ways to Clean Silver at Home
Silver can be the a tough metal to clean. So what do you do when your favorite accessory is tarnished? Below are 3 methods to help you get your baubles back in tiptop shape.
The strength of the cleaner needed to clean silver depends on the amount of tarnish on the piece. Always try the least aggressive method first and be sure to follow all the instructions on the packaging of silver cleaners and creams as they are very abrasive and, if used improperly, can cause more damage than good.
Method 1 : Hand Soap and Water – Yes, just plain hand soap and water. If the piece you’re looking to clean is only slightly tarnished, try soap and water first. Make a rich lather with the soap and repeat the process a few times. Often times, this step is enough.
Method 2 : Hot Water, aluminum foil, salt, baking soda and dish washing soap– If soap and water wasn’t enough to get the tarnish off, try this method next.
Step One – Place a piece of aluminum foil on a shallow tray.
Step Two – Place your silver piece over the aluminum foil.
Step Three – Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the piece.
Step Four – Squirt dish washing soap on the piece.
Step Four – Pour hot water over the piece.
Method 3 : Polishing cloth and silver cleaner – Polishing clothes and silver cleaner should be you very last resort. These products are very abrasive and if used improperly can damage silver. Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging very closely. Note that silver is dipped for only a SECONDS in cleaner.
Liquid silver cleaners are used by pouring the cleaner in a vessel and dunking the silver piece for a couple of seconds. It is a common mistake to dunk the pieces for minutes or repeatedly without rinsing. These common mistakes cause more damage than good.
Be sure to thoroughly rinse the cleaner off the piece after submerging.
If the piece is too tarnished or you’ll have to resort to method #4.
Method 4 : Take it to you local jeweler – When all else fails, take your jewelry to your local jeweler. It may take a few days to get it back but your jewelry will look just like the day you got it!