How to Cleaning Your Tarnished Silver
If you’ve ever worn silver jewellery, you know that it can get tarnished over time especially if you don’t clean it regularly. While you know about silver polish, few people realise that polishing your silver can scrub some of the silver off the surface of the item. It can be particularly detrimental for pieces that are silver-plated, where a layer of silver may be especially thin. Another issue with using silver polish to clean your jewellery is that it can be tricky cleaning all the nooks and crannies in your pieces. Here’s the good news: silver rings and other jewellery made in the Anna Lou of London workshop can be cleaned using an easy method that will return the glow to your pieces without causing any damage to them. Even better, you can use this cleaning method right away!
Ingredients for Jewellery Cleaning solution
You will need:
• A water softener powder, although baking soda can be used as a substitute
• An aluminium plate, although aluminium foil can be used as a substitute
The Cleaning Procedure
Whether you are cleaning quality silver earrings for ladies, a bracelet or a ring, here’s what you will do: 1. Take your aluminium plate or even a regular plate that has been covered with a piece of tin foil 2. Place 1 tablespoon of a water softening powder or baking soda and 1 tablespoon of salt onto the foil 3. Pour hot water onto the mixture on the plate – make sure the water is not boiling 4. Stir the mixture well until all the powder is dissolved 5. Now carefully dunk your jewellery in the solution. How long you need to keep the silver jewellery in the solution will depend on how tarnished it is. The results could be immediate, or it could take just a few minutes. If you have an item that is very tarnished, this method for cleaning jewellery will not make the item look brand new, but it will certainly give it a better sheen.
A Word of Warning
This cleaning method is not recommended for jewellery that contains semi-precious or precious stones. However, we have found that many people – even silversmiths – have indeed used this method for cleaning gemstone jewels with no bad effects. But we don’t think it’s worth the risk of damaging your precious stones. It’s also worth mentioning that this jewellery cleaning method is not ideal for oxidized or antiqued silver, since cleaning will serve to remove the special finish on the silver as well as the tarnish.
How the Cleaning Method Works
Are you interested in chemistry? Here’s what happens when your silver jewellery is being dunked in the solution: It is silver sulphide that makes the silver jewellery look tarnished and grey over time. This process is known as oxidation. When you immerse the jewellery in the salt and baking soda solution, the silver sulphide and aluminium reach, pulling out the sulphur atoms and plating them into the aluminium. The silver that remains from this reaction is then redeposited onto the silver. I hope this article is of great help to you. If you have other tips on how to clean tarnished silver jewellery, share it to us in the comments section.