If you are like me who loves to wear silver jewelry, then you too must be in a fix as to know how to clean sterling silver jewelry and preserve them. Silver is a delicate metal and it requires a lot of care, if you want to preserve its sparkle and luster. Pure silver is too soft and malleable and so is combined with some other metals to form jewelry. When silver is mixed with copper in the ratio of 92.5% silver to 7.5% copper, it is called sterling silver. There are many sterling silver jewelry cleaner available in the market as well as several ways by which you can clean them at home.
Tips to Clean Sterling Silver at Home
Silver tarnishes very easily and it tends to look darker with the passage of time. This is due to oxidation of silver with sulfides in the atmosphere. There are various ways of cleaning sterling silver jewelry.
- Use a gentle and mild liquid detergent to clean sterling silver jewelry. Avoid contact of silver jewelry with any kind of abrasives such as acetone, chlorine and bleach.
- The best way to clean sterling silver jewelry is by using a piece of soft cotton or flannel cloth. Rub the silver with back and forth motion to clean it. Do not rub it in circular motions, as doing this might leave scratch marks over the jewelry.
- Another way in which you can clean sterling silver jewelry, is by using toothpaste. For this you need a soft cloth and a white toothpaste. Apply toothpaste on your jewelry and rub it with a cloth for 2-3 minutes. Rinse the jewelry with lukewarm water and dry it with a towel.
- You can also use a solution of mild herbal shampoo to clean your silver jewelry. In a glass bowl, dilute some shampoo and immerse the silver jewelry in it for 10-12 minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry them thoroughly.
- If you are wondering how to clean silver jewelry, then here is a good method. Line a shallow glass dish with aluminum foil with its shiny side pointing towards you. Place the silver jewelry over the aluminum foil and sprinkle 5-6 tablespoon of washing soda. Pour half a liter of boiling water over it and let the jewelry soak for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well with water and dry it with a soft flannel cloth. If your jewelry contains any stones like turquoise or pearls, then do not use this procedure, as you might damage the stones.
- Store your silver jewelry in air tight containers or plastic pouches. While storing them, make sure that different pieces of jewelry do not rub against each other, as scratches may be formed on them.
If your sterling silver jewelry has excess tarnish and dirt on it, then it is a good idea to clean your silver jewelry with commercial silver polish. It is available in a paste and liquid form, and works well for delicate pieces of jewelry. Apply small quantities of polish on a soft flannel cloth. Now gently rub the polish, in an up and down motion, making sure that you do not miss cleaning the small grooves in it. You can also use a toothbrush with soft bristles to clean the silver jewelry. Rinse thoroughly under running water to get rid of all the dirt.
One of the best and most economical sterling silver jewelry cleaner that you can use is by mixing ½ teaspoon of ammonia and 2 tablespoons of any mild detergent with 2 cups of water. Soak your jewelry in it for 10-15 minutes and rinse them in running water. You will find that your silver shines as good as new. If you wear your silver jewelry everyday, then make sure that you wear them after you have applied all creams, lotions and perfumes. Always ensure that you use very mild detergent for cleaning your sterling silver jewelry as harsh chemicals can dull their shine and damage them.