Did you know that there is a really simple way to clean sterling silver jewelry, using white vinegar and baking soda? Soak the tarnished piece in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tbsp. baking soda (it will fizz!) for two to three hours, then rinse and dry. That's it!
Click here to shop the sterling silver bracelets in my online shop!
YES, this is the most wonderful cloth for polishing silver! In fact, guess what? It also polishes:
gold (yes, gold!!)
and so many other things! Use it til it's black then replace. Don't wash it - that will get rid of all the good stuff that does the polishing!
Need one? Sign up for my email list & I'll be sure to let you know when they are back on the website! (Or, you know, do a quick google search & find one right now!)
That bracelet? It's in my online store - click here to shop!
Since I don't have an art show scheduled right away, I have a little time to get ready (although it is almost August...yikes).
These silver earrings are thrown into this tray because they all need a little extra cleaning....and, you can see my Sunshine polishing cloth there in the background. That Sunshine cloth cleans anything - silver, gold, glass, anything! Go here if you need one of those!
Want to know more about cleaning silver jewelry? Go here to read more.
BONUS tip for tarnish removal: DON'T store your silver link chain jewelry in your bathroom or kitchen - too much moisture!
Click on the images below to discover more jewelry!
If it didn't get as clean as you want, move the jewelry around, press it down a little bit, pour more boiling water and add more soda. Repeat as necessary!
If you need to remove tarnish from silver (more than just a few pieces), do this process in batches.
Kind of like magic but, really, I guess it's chemistry?
Click on these links to see the other tips about tarnish removal from silver: Tip #1, Tip #2, Tip #3
Now, girl, go clean that tarnish from your silver jewelry!
Tip #3 to remove tarnish from sterling silver - jewelry, flatware, teapot, you name it. This method will answer your questions about how to remove tarnish from silver!
(If you want to see Tip #1 to remove tarnish from silver, click HERE. To see Tip #3 for tarnish removal from silver, click HERE.)
It's not very exciting or dramatic but it might be surprising that you can clean tarnished silver with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Who knew??
Simple make a paste with toothpaste and water, scrub your silver gently with the toothbrush dipped in the paste and, just like that, you can remove tarnish from sterling silver jewelry or anything else made of sterling silver!
Click here to see the newest jewelry on the website now!
Removal of Tarnish on Silver - Another Way
We talked about preventing tarnish on sterling silver by keeping it in a ziplock bag, away from damp conditions (so, storing your silver jewelry in your bathroom is not a great idea), and using a desiccant pack. Go here if you would like to see the details!
Here is an idea for removing tarnish as it builds up, especially when you want to preserve the beautiful patina that builds up over time on silver.
Try this: use a little bit of baking soda and water to make a wet paste. Using a soft toothbrush, dip it in the paste and scrub your sterling silver piece gently. Voila! Tarnish gone.
More ideas to come! Meanwhile, enjoy your sterling silver jewelry!
Need a couple of quick tips to keep sterling silver from tarnishing? Here are 4 things you can do:
1. keep in an airtight bag - a Ziplock works great for this
2. don't store your jewelry in the bathroom (the moisture can cause tarnish)
3. store your jewelry in "tarnish" cloth, available at your local fabric shop (you might have to ask for it); you can just wrap the cloth around your jewelry - it's doesn't have to be in a bag
4. include a small desiccant pack with your jewelry - the little packs that come with a new pair of shoes or a new purse
That's it! Enjoy your sterling silver jewelry, tarnish-free!
Guess what - baking soda is good for so many different uses around the house and, the best part?
Almost all of us have it on hand all the time!
So, yes, baking soda + water + soft toothbrush = shiny sterling silver jewelry!
Ok, this is an absolutely wonderful way to clean sterling silver using ONLY things you have around the house - no chemicals! yay!!! Best of all, it really does work great. Just to prove it, I did a little experiment this week with some pretty grungy sterling silver jewelry - you can see what I started with at left - nice earrings but boy are they nasty looking! Let's see if we can clean them up a bit! Following are the results of my effort! Click here to see the previous posts on cleaning your jewelry!
WHAT YOU NEED:
1. baking soda
3. aluminum foil
4. boiling water
That's it. You are ready to clean!
Scrunch up the foil (is scrunch a word??) and put it in the bottom of your container. Just make sure the foil is bumpy, NOT smooth. The silver will get cleaned where it touches the foil so you want a lot of "surface" foil for the silver to lay against. With me so far?
Sterling silver on top of the foil - it's kind of hard to see the earrings here but they are laying on top of the foil - sort of nestled down in there - see??
NOW, we get to the fun part. Sprinkle baking soda on top of the jewelry. This is not a science....I am liberal with the soda. Just dump some on - you can add more later! Then pour boiling water on top, just to cover it. It will immediately start to bubbly & fizz & you may smell a sulfur type of smell - getting rid of the oxidation - hurray!! Move the jewelry around a bit with a wooden spoon or chopstick - whatever you have on hand. Remember that it gets cleanest when it comes into contact with the foil. At this point, I let it do it's fizzy thing, then I add a little more water & maybe some more soda - I want it to fizz as much as it can & baking soda is cheap so I keep adding it with water until it stops fizzing & bubbling - then, rinse well and........
WHOA! Check it out! I would probably now use my sweet little Sunshine Polishing Cloth to finish it off but it is not really necessary - these babies are clean & shiny!
So - that's it - so easy, so cheap, so GREEN - Give it a try & let me know your results!! :D
Ok, Bright Idea #3 ------ this is really the simplest of all, although you may have to go buy it; the very easiest way to clean silver back to it's "bright & shiny", like new form, is silver "dip". There are several on the market - easy to find. Jewelry stores & just about any place that sells jewelry sells this stuff & it does work great. HOWEVER, it can damage your silver over time so only use it occasionally. Hagerty's Dip and Spray Polish for sterling silver do a really nice job so, if you want to go the "dipping" route, pick up one of those products & give it a try. Go here to see the final suggestion for cleaning sterling silver jewelry with things you already have on hand!
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Bright Idea #4
This idea is an oldie but a goodie - good old baking soda! Everybody has baking soda around the house & it's good for cleaning all sorts of things, even sterling silver! Make a paste of baking soda and water, rub it GENTLY into the sterling silver piece you are trying to clean, rinse WELL and repeat as needed. You can use your fingers, a soft cloth (cotton is best - think old tee shirt.....) or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Same warning as with some of the other methods - baking soda, used in this way is somewhat abrasive so you don't want to use it often. Next tip includes baking soda but in an entirely different way. Look for it!
"Love your jewelry - how do I keep it clean?"
I get this question often from happy customers - over the next couple of days, I'm going to post about several really good ways to clean silver jewelry or anything else silver. I'll start with the simplest ways & move on to ideas that are slightly (but only slightly) more complicated.
Ok - Here is Bright Idea 1:
Wash your jewelry gently with warm water and soap now & then AND then use a really excellent polishing cloth often to keep the metal really nice & shiny. Personally, I prefer the Sunshine Cloth and here is the reason - it cleans all metals, not just silver. That's right - it cleans silver, copper, brass, even gold (even though you didn't know it was dirty!). You can purchase a Sunshine Cloth here. A free Sunshine Cloth comes with every bracelet or necklace purchase from Laura Teague Jewelry.
Ready? Bright Idea 2:
You can do a pretty good job cleaning your silver using toothpaste -just plain old toothpaste - you have some of that laying around, right?? :D Be sure to use non whitening, non gel toothpaste. Rub it on (and into all the little crevices with your rings, a soft cloth or a soft toothbrush, rinse, repeat as needed. Toothpaste, of course, is slightly abrasive, so you don't want to get too enthusiastic with this nor do you want to do it everyday. But, it does work - give it a try!! Nothing to buy, nothing to lose - see what you think & let me know your results in comments below! Go here for more information about caring for and cleaning your jewelry!
I am Laura Teague, a metal smith, knitter and sewist living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and traveling the western US whenever I can!