As always, prevention is better than a cure so the best piece of advice anyone can give, is to clean your silver jewellery regularly. Also remove your jewellery before showering, exercising, cleaning or cooking. Fine Jewellery should also be checked a couple of times a year to make sure your gems and the prongs holding them are safe and secure. Make sure your silver jewellery is dry before storing them in a place with low humidity wrapped in either acid free tissue paper, anti tarnish paper or flannel.
If you only need to buff shine back into your silver, rub the jewellery with a soft cotton cloth. To clean, get some jewellery polish on a sponge. Without scrubbing, rub the polish back and forth on your jewellery (don’t rub in circles). Rinse the polish off your jewellery and then dry with a soft clean cloth.
If you’re not confident with cleaning your jewellery, then take them to a local jewellery store. Most offer jewellery cleaning services.
Things to Avoid while cleaning silver jewellery
Wash your jewellery separately, don’t include them while you do the dishes. If silver comes in contact with stainless steel, the finish on your silver will be ruined. Also foods which are acidic, salty or contain sulphur will damage silver. Avoid foods like table salt, eggs, some fruits, onions, mayonnaise, and vinegar (clean immediately if your jewellery comes in contact with these foods).
Rubber can corrode silver so keep the rubber gloves off while cleaning your silver jewellery.
Other At Home Solutions to Cleaning Silver Jewellery
If you don’t want to shell out money for expensive jewellery polish, here are some at home products that can cleaning jewellery. Be careful though because there are reports of some of these damaging your jewellery (mainly stone settings). Try these on a less expensive non-vintage piece with no sentimental value.
Choose a plain white toothpaste with no whitening properties. Clean your jewellery as you would with the jewellery polish. Or make a paste using baking soda and water then use like jewellery polish. However be careful using this one, as baking soda is quite abrasive.
Here are some of the more surprising household products that have been rumoured to clean jewellery:
- Soak diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds in club soda overnight.
- Soak diamonds in water with a denture tablet for a few minutes then rinse and dry.
- Rub down tarnished silver jewellery with ketchup and then quickly rinse and dry.
- Spray windex on a soft bristled toothbrush and brush your diamonds.
Cleaning Silver Jewellery using Aluminium Foil
There is much buzz about using Aluminium foil to stage a chemical reaction to clean tarnish off your silver jewellery. I decided to give one a go to see the results (I didn’t have any rings that needed cleaning so I used a pair of earrings).
I’m so impressed that I immediately went looking for more tarnished silver to clean! If you want to have a go I used the process from Geek Mom;