Has your silver jewelry gotten a bit dirty lately? Don’t worry, silver is easy to clean using the proven methods we will show you in this article.
Indeed, over time, silver will always discolor, but why is this exactly? Silver, and therefore also, for example, silver jewelry, becomes black due to sulfur. Sulfur is in the air and occurs in other substances.
When sulfur and silver come into contact with each other, a chemical reaction occurs, which creates a black layer on the silver. This can be compared to rust on iron. Materials that contain a lot of sulfur include wool, perfume, and eggs.
In addition to discoloration, daily use ensures that the jewelry or objects can get dirty. As a result, they become less beautiful. But of course, it’s also not so hygienic.
How to clean silver efficiently
Silver is a material that oxidizes over time and then turns black. Jewelry, cutlery, and other silver objects can, however, regain all their shine with a few completely natural tips.
1. Brushing with a cleaning cloth
By far the easiest way to clean your silver jewelry is with a silver polish cloth. These are often for sale separately at the jeweler, or of course, your general department store. Sometimes you even get one for free when your order from some jewelry stores.
Such a cleaning cloth is specially designed for cleaning silver and is generally the easiest and fastest way to keep your jewelry in good condition. With regular cleaning, you will be able to prevent discoloration, and keep your jewelry looking new.
These cleaning wipes are suitable for all precious metals, so you can also clean your gold jewelry with them.
2. Using silver polish
Another way, similar to the first, to clean your silver is to use silver polish. There are several good brands on the market. With silver polish, you can both clean and polish your silver, giving them a lasting shine. Silver polish has the component R-22 which removes impurities and protects the silver. This is especially suitable for larger objects, but can also be used for jewelry. Apply the silver polish with a soft and damp sponge, rub it slowly and let it stand for a while.
3. Using Lemon juice
A natural product and essential for effective cleaning, lemon is perfect for cleaning silverware and silver jewelry. To use it, just vigorously rub the silver elements with a toothbrush soaked in lemon juice. Then leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off with clear water. This technique can be used safely for jewelry that contains stones, whether precious or not.
4. Using White vinegar
With its degreasing, antibacterial, and detergent properties, white vinegar helps to clean silver in depth. To do this, soak the silver objects you want to clean in white vinegar for about two hours. After this time, rinse with clean water and dry carefully.
5. Using baking soda
Baking soda, like white vinegar, is one of the miraculous cleaning products. It Is used to get rid of impurities in a wide range of objects.
In the case of silver, and silver jewelry, you can easily give your silver its shine back by brushing it with some baking soda and a damp brush. All you have to do is to put a small amount of baking soda on the brush and then gently rub the silver object with it.
If the silver remains dark anyway, add a little baking soda to boiling water, then let your silver items soak in it for a few minutes. This technique should, however, be avoided when cleaning silver jewelry adorned with stones.
6. Using toothpaste
Using toothpaste to clean silver is a very well-known and easy-to-use trick. Place some toothpaste on a toothbrush and rub the silver objects with it. Be careful to use delicate movements so as not to scratch the silver surfaces. Then rinse the cleaned items thoroughly with cold water before wiping well with a chamois or a soft cloth.
7. Using Meudon white or white chalk
To clean silver with Meudon white, start by pouring two tablespoons of this product into a little water, to obtain a paste. Then take this paste with a piece of paper and rub the silver with it to restore its shine.
8. Using Ash
The ash in your fireplace can allow you to clean up your silver very easily. Put some on a toothbrush and then rub the objects. Finally, rinse with clean water before wiping each object with a soft cloth or chamois leather.
9. Using soapy water
Soapy water is also very useful for cleaning silver. All you have to do is rub the objects with water containing the liquid soap before rinsing and drying them.
10. Salted water and aluminum foil
To clean silver objects with saltwater, start by pouring a lot of coarse salt into a saucepan with water. Then wrap any silver items you want to clean in aluminum foil. Then place the elements thus covered in the saucepan before putting the water to boil. Leave this for five minutes. After this time, remove the silver objects from the pan, rinse with clean water and then finish by wiping them carefully.
Your silver will be shiny again.
11. Using Potato cooking water
The cooking water from potatoes is ideal for restoring shine to all silver objects. To do this, start by boiling potatoes and then collect the cooking water. All you have to do is soak your silver items in this water if possible overnight. Then dry the cleaned items thoroughly.
12. Using Beer
If you have a can of beer in your fridge (to consume of course in moderation), you can use it to restore all its shine to your money. To do this, pour the beer into a larger bowl or container depending on the number of items to be cleaned, then put your items to soak in it overnight. Then rinse with clean water before drying thoroughly.
13. Using an ultrasonic device
Using high-energy sound waves and a process known as cavitation, ultrasonic cleaners may help remove foreign contaminants from silver jewelry, silver cutlery, silver coins, and other items.
Ultrasonic cleaning is very effective on things with complicated surface features. When utilizing an ultrasonic cleaner, it’s important to use the right cleaning solution. Not all concentrates are acceptable for silver or silver jewelry with a high level of sensitivity.
Tips to prevent contamination of your silver objects
In addition to cleaning your jewelry and the annual recommended maintenance, there are several preventive measures that you can take to better maintain your silver jewelry.
- Take off your silver jewelry before exercising. Sweat causes your jewelry to oxidize faster. Even if you are going to swim in a swimming pool or the sea, it’s best to leave your fancy jewelry behind.
- Also, take off your jewelry before you go to sleep. At night you perspire and that is not good for your jewelry. Don’t put them on until the next day when you’ve done with your makeup and hair. Make-up, perfume, hair spray, and other beauty products contain sulfur-containing substances that affect your silver jewelry.
- Avoid wearing your jewelry when cleaning your home. It is also not wise to wear your jewelry when washing your hands with soap. Although the latter can’t hurt now and then.
- Finally, avoid getting in contact with sulfur-containing products such as elastic, wool, rubber, or eggs when wearing your jewelry.
Jenny holds a Master’s degree in psychiatry from the University of Illinois and Bachelors’s degree from the University of Texas in nutritional sciences. She works as a dietician for Austin Oaks Hospital in Austin, Texas. Jenney writes content on nutrition and mental health for the Scientific Origin.