If you’ve left your sterling silver jewelry out for too long before, you’ve likely noticed that it begins to tarnish. Silver jewelry that’s worn day in and day out doesn’t tarnish very quickly, so we often forget about our more neglected pieces.
If that’s the case for you, too, then don’t worry! We’ll teach you how to quickly clean your sterling silver jewelry and return it to its original sheen.
Since you’re here, you probably love sterling silver. Here at Blush & Bar, we have a wide variety of gorgeous rings available in sterling silver, so take a look!
Joyce Layered Stack Ring
Charisse Vintage Ring
Midi Knuckle 2-Ring Set
How to clean sterling silver
Sterling silver tarnishes—it’s an unfortunate fact. If you have some silver jewelry that needs a clean, we’ve got you covered. Here are five methods to make your silver shine once more.
If your sterling silver jewelry is only slightly tarnished, the best method to clean it is by giving it a gentle polish with a proper polishing cloth. This may also be called a silver cleaning cloth and is the least abrasive way to get your silver gleaming again.
Use a back and forth technique that follows the grain of the silver to give it the best sheen!
Regularly polishing your silver jewelry will help to prevent it from becoming tarnished in the first place!
Soap and water
As simple as it sounds, and usually effective. If polishing wasn’t enough, soap and water should do the trick.
Just fill a bowl up with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap. Let the silver jewelry soak for around 15 minutes, and gently scrub the jewelry with your hands.
If you don’t want to get dish soap on your hands, you can use gloves and a soft cloth.
After the jewelry is clean, rinse it off with water and dry it with a soft microfibre cloth.
Lemon juice and olive oil
Lemon juice contains citric acid, a natural cleaning solution that can get the tarnish off silver jewelry. This is a much greener alternative to using harsh, environment-damaging chemicals and is just as effective.
Simply mix a ½ cup lemon juice with a ½ teaspoon olive oil, and use a soft cloth to rub the solution into your silver. Rub gently until the tarnish is removed from your silver jewelry, then rinse off the jewelry. Finally, dry it with another soft cloth, and you’re all done!
Homemade silver cleaner
If the above methods didn’t work for you, here’s a simple chemical reaction to make the most of.
What you need:
First, line a bowl or glass dish with aluminum foil (dull side down). Place your tarnished silver jewelry on the aluminum foil and pour the boiling water over your jewelry until it’s covered.
Then, add two tablespoons each of baking soda and salt to the water. Stir the solution well to ensure no salt or baking soda granules are left, as these can be abrasive to sterling silver.
Now you can just let your tarnished silver sit. The tarnish will be transferred from your silver jewelry to the aluminum foil. After five to ten minutes, check on your jewelry. If it’s nice and shiny, you can dry the jewelry off with a soft cloth.
If you don’t have enough time to clean your sterling silver jewelry or you have some antique silver that’s worth a lot of money—don’t risk cleaning it by yourself.
There are plenty of jewelers who offer cleaning services you can take advantage of. A good professional clean will ensure that your silver lasts as long as possible.
Tips and tricks
For little crevices or engravings, use a baby toothbrush (a very soft-bristled toothbrush). Scrub gently to avoid scratching or wearing away your silver.
Try to avoid using harsh or abrasive cloths to polish or dry your silver. Using a soft cloth (a microfibre cloth is the best) or a purpose-designed silver polishing cloth is your best bet.
While toothpaste will clean your stainless steel, it is too abrasive for some silver, like sterling silver and pure silver. The abrasive particles will cause scratching on sterling silver and may even wear away thin silver plating. We recommend sticking to one of the methods above.
These methods can be used for any silver item, so save the tab in your browser for next time!
If you follow these methods, your silver will shine like a mirror in no time. Just make sure to avoid abrasive chemicals and materials, and you’re all set!
And, if you don’t want to have to clean sterling silver all the time, you’re not alone. Wearing silver jewelry as much as possible, avoiding corrosive chemicals, and polishing it regularly can help keep your silver shining like the day you bought it.