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!
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I am Laura Teague, a metal smith living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.