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Is your jewelry box filled with Sterling Silver jewelry? Does it look tarnished and dirty? Has it’s lost its original luster and shine?
Tarnish on your silver can’t be avoided. It’s a natural occurring process caused by the reaction between the silver object and its environment. Sunlight, heat, moisture, smoke and even certain foods are the most common culprits.
If you’re wondering what’s the best way to remove this natural occurring phenomenon and get your silver sparkling once again, you’ll want to use this tips and techniques.
Table of Contents
How To Remove Tarnish from Silver
There’s a process you should follow when polishing your silver. This technique should be used whether your polishing your mother’s silver platter or your sterling jewelry.
Start by hand washing items with mild soap and water. This will remove any dirt and dust collected on the piece and may even remove some of the tarnish. Dry each item before applying any product.
Polishing removes a small amount of metal each time, so go easy on the piece you’re working on. If the piece of silver has a pattern to it, excessive polishing could remove the pattern completely over time. Also, if the piece is plated, you could inadvertently remove the plating completely.
Use the Right Product
Use a product intended for use on silver only. All purpose products have a tendency to be too harsh for some metals. Chemical dips should be avoided altogether.
Follow The Previous Pattern
If you look closely, you’ll see the previous polishing pattern whether that be up and down or in a circular motion. Follow that pattern.
Use old cotton t-shirts to polish your silver. It works great. Make sure you use a different cloth if you’re cleaning other metals. Don’t mix solutions.
Remove Tarnish from Silver With These Hacks
Of course, there are countless hacks out there that will help you remove tarnish quickly and easily.
Aluminum Foil Hack
Bring one liter of water, one tablespoon of baking soda and one piece of aluminum foil to a boil. Drop silverware or silver only jewelry (no stones or other jewels) in the pot for 10 seconds (longer if it’s very tarnished), then remove using kitchen tongs. If built-up tarnish persists, make a thick paste with 1/4 cup baking soda and two tablespoons of water. Apply with a damp sponge, and then rinse and dry.
Aluminium Foil & Laundry Detergent Hack
Line a bowl with aluminum foil and fill it with hot water. Mix in one tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent then soak your silver for one minute. Rinse with clean water, and air-dry.
Corn Starch or Cream of Tartar
Make a paste of cornstarch and water and apply with a damp cloth. Let it completely dry, then rub off with something mildly abrasive, like cheesecloth or a rough towel.
You can substitute cream of tartar if you’re out of corn starch.
Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste on a rag and polish your silver. Rinse and watch it shine. Use plain toothpaste with no tartar control or whitening agents that can damage your jewelry. Do not use gel toothpaste because it will not clean the jewelry; it doesn’t have enough abrasive ingredients in it to scrub the silver.
If You Don’t Mind Waiting
Return that shine to your silverware and jewelry by soaking it in 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons of baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse under cold water, and dry thoroughly.
Lemon Juice and Salt
Soak your silver overnight in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/2 cup of instant dry milk. Rinse and buff dry back to it’s original shine.
As you can see, there are many ways to clean and polish your silver. You can use the method are mothers and grandmothers used for years, or you can try one of these ingenious hacks to bring your silver back to life.
Most importantly, don’t rub too hard or use the wrong products on your silver.
Either way, when you’re done, your silver pieces will be sparkling and look like new.