Photo from unsplash
Originally Posted On: 4 Ways to Clean Silver Jewelry … (allwomenstalk.com)
Although silver is classified as an unreactive metal, it tarnishes and loses its sparkle with time through the contamination of elements such as sulphur. For instance, when silver jewelry meets the skin, dead skin cells and dried sweat sediments can attach themselves to the metal. Additionally, creams, perfumes, deodorants, lotions, and ointments can contain corrosive components that react with the metal creating an unsightly tarnish. Furthermore, when you put your silver in the jewelry box, it can get scratched and damaged, and polishing will be ideal in reinstating the brand-new appearance.
The downside of not cleaning your silver will not only make it less attractive, but its value can be adversely affected. When the stains build up, cleaning and polishing can lead to loss of the surface, which can affect the weight of the jewel. Also, the rhodium lining that is sometimes used for laminating the metal can be eroded, causing the silver to tarnish. This makes it harder to restore the original luster.
Therefore, you must be proactive in taking care of your jewelry. But when the inevitable tarnish occurs, there are four ways to clean silver as outlined.
1ALUMINUM FOIL, BICARBONATE SODA, AND WATER
This is the most common DIY option for cleaning silver jewelry. Some items have intricate patterns and elaborate styles that may feature clasps, cords, beads, hook and eye, and enhancers that may be daunting to clean with a cloth. Also, parts of jewelry such as an earring shoulder, head, shank, prong, center stone, girdle or even engravings can be clogged with dirt that may not be easy to wipe off.
According to WholesaleSparkle.com, an industry leader, you can use the aluminum foil, water, and bicarbonate method for squeaky-clean Jewelry. The steps are as follows: –
· Take a clean, clear jar or bowl.
· Place an aluminum foil with the shiny side facing upwards at the base of the interior.
· Pour one generous teaspoon of bicarbonate soda and add 200 ml of lukewarm water.
· Gently stir, and once the sediment is fully dissolved, place the jewelry.
· After five minutes, remove the items from the solutions and place them on a clean piece of cloth or a clean surface such as the kitchen countertop to dry.
You must rinse the silver jewelry on fresh lukewarm water to remove traces of bicarbonate soda.
2SILVER CLEANING CLOTH METHOD
There are various cleaning cloths for silver, gold, and other metal jewelry that you can use. The ultra-soft pieces are made of 100% natural cotton fiber and may contain an untreated gray flannel for a final shine on the silver to restore its luster. Also, the cloth is convenient to use as you don’t have to make it wet to achieve the desired outcome. The method is practical to apply, and you can carry the cloth in your handbag or pocket to clean watches or necklaces at your convenience on the vanity room countertop.
When you shop for a silver cleaning cloth, ensure that the material is made of non-toxic elements that can absorb dust or silver particles to protect you from allergies. You should also ensure that the size of the silver cloth is consistent with the size of your jewelry. For instance, if you have silver home décor or a large silver wristwatch, consider an extra-large cloth that you can easily hold and clean the surface with ease. On the other hand, smaller jewelry with intricate details such as festoons may require smaller clothes for efficient and precise cleaning.
3SILVER POLISH CREAM METHOD
In severe cases, a tarnish may develop on your silver jewelry when it reacts with sulphur to form a coating of silver sulfide that cannot be removed by a silver cleaning cloth or a bicarbonate soda solution. In this case, you should consider using a silver polish cleaner for the task. On Amazon, there are various brands such as Weiman Silver Polish and Cleaner, Marpol Silver Polishing Cream, Organo cream, and more.
These pastes have ingredients such as propylene glycol, aluminum silicate, and sodium carbonate and sodium carbonate. Propylene glycol is the substance that is used in theatres to create a fog simulation. On polish brands, it may be labeled either as trimethyl glycol, 1,2-dihydroxypropane, or methyl glycol. This ingredient has anti-tarnish components that allow silver to retain its moisture to prevent soft metal structure alteration. It can last for several weeks on the surface, giving your perpetual jewelry protection from discoloration.
Aluminum silicate, also called kaolin, aluminum salts, or silicic acid, is a naturally occurring anti-abrasive mineral. The decomposition of rocks forms it, and it is vital in washing off the discoloration matter that forms on the silver surface, just like bleach. Lastly, a silver polish cream also contains bicarbonate soda with electrolytic properties, which can reverse silver sulfide to restore the brilliance of silver.
Polish creams are usually sold with a piece of cloth that you can use to rub the paste on the surface before rinsing it off with clean lukewarm water.
4THE SILVER LIQUID DIP METHOD
If you are not sure how to mix the bicarbonate soda solution or apply pressure in rubbing the polish cream on your silver jewelry, a silver liquid dip is the best cleaning method that you should embrace.
The dip is readily available on store shelves. All you need to do is pour it into a bowl and dip your silver items for a few seconds. Unlike other products, this is a hands-off approach, and the product manufacturers guarantee that no silver will be lost as the solution is not abrasive.
The silver dip has no side effect on human beings, and all you need to do after the dip is rinse and dry your jewelry to stop the cleaning process.
Point To Note
You should be cautious and avoid using cleaning methods that require ingredients such as coke, lemon extracts, vinegar, and even toothpaste to avoid damaging your silver jewelry. If you use the four methods and the tarnish persists, you should consider seeking professional cleaning services from a gemologist.