One of the most common questions I get is, "How do I clean my silver jewelry?" Cleaning jewelry can be a daunting task to anyone! But worry not--I have some great tips below, and all you need is a few simple supplies.
This is a very basic method that is great for cleaning all different types of jewelry, including jewelry that has stones and/or pearls in it.
- If your jewelry has stones in it, that DO NOT have cutouts behind the stone, I do not recommend soaking them for long periods of time. You don't want water trapped behind the stone. Stay tuned for jewelry cleaning methods just for you! You can still use this method, but don't soak the jewelry.
- If you have gold jewelry, you can often clean it simply with soap and water using a toothbrush, though this technique is good for occasional cleaning.)
- If your jewelry has a patina to it that is intentional, that is different than being tarnished. Oxidized jewelry can still darken further so this process will bring it closer to the original state of when it was purchased, but it will not magically brighten it to shiny silver.
Items you'll need:
- Small Bowl
- Aluminum Foil
- Baking Soda
- Warm Water
- Paper Towels
- Optional: a second small bowl of warm/hot water
Steps to cleaning your jewelry:
- Line your small bowl with the aluminum foil. (You could also use aluminum baking cups)
- Add a small amount of baking soda to your bowl.
- Add a small amount of water to the baking soda--you only want enough to make a paste or slurry (like a thick yogurt--see image below).
- If your silver jewelry is tarnished, you can tuck it in to the baking soda mix for about 10-15 minutes at this point.
- Use your toothbrush to scoop up some of the baking soda mix and scrub your jewelry with it.
- *IF YOU ARE RINSING IN A SINK, PLUG YOUR SINK AT THIS POINT. We don't want lost jewelry!*
- Rinse your jewelry under warm water or dunk it into your extra bowl of water.
- Baking soda *does* take a little extra rinsing, so do take some time to rinse your jewelry under warm water carefully. You can use your toothbrush to scrub it more while rinsing, or use your fingers with soap to give it a final scrub.
- If you notice any film on your jewelry after, just rinse it again in hot water.
- Dry your jewelry well on paper towels, and enjoy!
A couple notes:
- If you're curious about the aluminum foil, we use that because there is a chemical reaction between the aluminum and baking soda that helps to remove the tarnish!
- If your jewelry is really darkly tarnished, it make take a few rounds of cleaning to bring it back to silver. I will have further tutorials on getting those bright silver pieces extra clean!
- As always, please feel free to email me with any questions, or leave a comment below.