Removing dirt and tarnish from a silver necklace

Removing Dirt And Tarnish From Silver Necklace

Many women and even men prefer noble silver to cold gold. Silver jewelry does not only look elegant, but it is also always in style and comes at a very affordable price. However, silver has a drawback – it has a tendency to darken over time.

The main causes of silver turning black is the sweat of a person wearing the jewelry, environmental humidity, contact with salt water, or long-term storage. According to expert opinion, silver tarnishing is a natural process that cannot be avoided. That is why many owners of silver jewelry are determined to restore the shine to this metal.

There are some tips on how to clean your silver necklace at home, which is also good for cleaning other items made of silver.

Cleaning silver necklace with ready-to-use products  

Nowadays there are a lot of methods and products that can help you clean silver. In jewelry stores abroad, a silver necklace often comes with a special liquid for cleaning.To be  fair, our jewelry stores also offer such products for purchase. 

You can use general household products to clean silver at home, such as dishwashing detergent, etc. Make sure that if you clean silver with special products, you read the label instructions first.

Jewelry stores also offer special wipes, soap, and an ultrasonic cleaner for silver jewelry. All these products allow you to clean silver s items at home.

How to clean silver with products you might already have

There are a lot of ways to clean this precious metal with items you probably have on hand. Here are the most efficient ones:

  1. Toothpaste combats dirty silver perfectly. Do not use colored or gel toothpaste. Also, use a soft toothbrush. Rub your necklace or another item with toothpaste the same way you brush your teeth every day. Then rinse under running water and dry on a piece of cloth. You can also clean your necklace with tooth powder or ground chalk. 
  2. There is another efficient method of cleaning even built-up tarnish – using an ammonia solution. Add 5-6 drops of ammonia to a glass filled with warm soapy water and let your necklace or a cross soak in the mixture for 15 minutes. Then wash thoroughly under running water.

The second method is one of the most popular methods among those who try to clean a silver necklace at home.

You can also mix some chalk and ammonia, and rub the necklace with this solution. Then rinse it under water and dry thoroughly.

Baking soda is also great for cleaning tarnished silver. Combine three parts baking soda with one part water. Rub the paste onto the dirty necklace or cross, then rinse the silver with water. 

There is another great jewelry-cleaning method, though it is a little complicated. Take a pot and line it with aluminum foil. Place the soiled necklace into the foil-lined pot. Fill the pot with water and add two tablespoons of baking soda. The silver items should be covered with the liquid. Let them sit in the boiling mixture for about 5 minutes.

By the way, in this method, you can substitute baking soda with citric acid. Some people claim that this way of cleaning is much better than the others. 

Another silver-cleaning method also involves the use of aluminum foil. Boil three peeled potatoes until they are cooked. Line a ceramic bowl with aluminum foil, and place the silver necklace into the bowl. Pour the potato water into the bowl, and let the jewelry soak in the liquid for 15 minutes. Then rinse the necklace with water, and all stains will be removed.

You can also clean your silver jewelry using the following method. Place your silver items onto a piece of aluminum foil. Next, spoon a couple of teaspoons of salt and baking soda onto the items. Wrap the tarnished jewelry in aluminum foil, and put the covered silver into a pot filled with soapy water. Boil the pot.

When the water begins to bubble, turn off the heat, and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Remove the silver pieces from the pot and cool them under cold water. Rinse the items with water and dry thoroughly. 

There is a way to clean silver at home using only olive oil. Drip a few drops of olive oil onto a soft cloth and rub your silver pieces with it. Then wash them with some warm soapy water and dry.

Try using vinegar for cleaning jewelry. Pour the vinegar into a bowl and place your silver items in it. Allow to soak for at least 2 hours. Rinse the items with water. You can also pour some vinegar onto a piece of cloth and rub the jewelry with it. Although, soaking is a much more effective way.

Some people clean silver items using unsafe methods and products, like aqua regia. We do not recommend doing this at home because it may be dangerous for your health.

Prevention is key

It is better to try and prevent your silver tarnishing, than to try and remove the staining later. Preventative measures are very simple, and can be easily taken at home. 

After every wear, polish your silver jewelry with a piece of flannel cloth dampened with water. Store silver items in chests lined with soft cloth. It is better not to store other metal items with silver.

It is also recommended to clean silver items at least once every two months. This will help to prevent tarnish building up, otherwise it can be very hard to clean the jewelry. 

If you do not want to clean silver items regularly, you can put a thin coat of clear nail polish on your jewelry and air dry it.

This preventative measure will protect your jewelry so you would not have to clean it too often. 

As you can see, it is possible to clean silver jewelry on your own. Moreover, experts recommend cleaning your silver pieces regularly to prevent tarnish building up. All the above methods can be used for cleaning silver jewelry, so pick any and go with it.

Also see: how to clean a gold necklace at home 

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