The 10 tricks to clean silver jewelry or with stones and achieve spectacular results. Homemade tricks use only the products you can find in your house or buy at the corner supermarket.
In the first place, we must understand the reasons why silver turns black and has the appearance of dirty or oxidized silver, then we will see what home remedies we can use to clean rings, bracelets, earrings, piercings, chains, necklaces, etc.
It must be clear that the silver used in the manufacture of jewelry is not 100% pure silver, but an alloy of silver with other metals, usually copper, with a proportion of 925 parts of pure silver and the rest of other metals, what we know as Sterling Silver. From there depends on its quality, brightness, tones, time until it turns black, or the possibility that it causes a skin reaction or allergy.
Silver in contact with air, water, or chemical products such as chlorine, bleach, and others can accelerate its color change or blackening. This darkening change, contrary to what people believe, is not oxidation but sulfurization, although it is commonly called oxidation. This chemical process occurs when the hydrogen sulfide in the air comes into contact with silver jewelry, there it begins to change color, which is when silver sulfide (Ag2S) is produced and darkens it.
So if you have bought a 925 sterling silver jewel and it has turned black, you have not been deceived, they are like that. We leave you a post with the precautions when buying silver jewelry online
- The PH of our skin
- Body sweat
- Moisturizing creams or sunscreen
- Soaps, gels, chlorine, seawater, and detergents
- Cosmetics, lacquers, perfumes, etc.
But you also have to take into account that the metals that have been mixed with silver are also sensitive to chemical processes, and depending on each metal it will take a different tone and you will see inside your jewelry box, jewels with different tones. For example, copper, widely used for the manufacture of Sterling Silver, takes on greenish tones.
Now that we know why silver turns black, we are going to explain the different ways and homemade tricks to clean it. But first, we must know what precautions we must take to avoid any risk, since we are going to use chemical reactions and acid products such as lemon, vinegar, etc., so we must do it in a ventilated place.
To begin with, we must have latex or nitrile gloves to protect our hands and not leave traces on the jewel. It is also very important to do it in a ventilated place and have clean water to rinse in case of a splash.
First of all, indicate that these homemade methods will cause a chemical reaction and are valid for silver jewelry WITHOUT gems, pearls, or zircons as they could be damaged, for this type of jewelry we recommend other methods that are not so “aggressive” and more specific, And below we will explain how to do it.
Now we go with the tricks to clean smooth silver, and that is the following:
IMPORTANT: The first and most common step in all these homemade tricks is to clean the silver with soap and water to remove dirt, so all these tricks will be more effective. Then rinse them with plenty of water and dry them with a dry cloth.
If you have any piece of very dirty silver jewelry, we recommend that you go directly to the method to clean very dirty silver, since these first ways to clean silver are for jewelry that is not very dirty or to maintain it.
Do you want silver jewelry that does not tarnish? Buy rhodium silver jewelry
For this we must have the following material:
- A bowl, bowl, or saucepan
- Enough water to cover the jewels
- 2 dessert spoons of bicarbonate of soda
We heat the water, either in the microwave or with a saucepan over the fire. Meanwhile, we line the inside of the bowl, saucepan, plate, etc… with aluminum foil and break small pieces of aluminum, like confetti.
We already have the boiling water and add the bicarbonate very little by little, stirring until dissolved. Place the jewels inside the container and add the water little by little, being careful not to splash, then add the aluminum shavings or confetti.
Let it rest for about 3-4 minutes and remove the jewels with the help of some utensils, rinse them and rub them with a cloth. If the silver is very black we can put it back in the container and give it more time. You can also add a tablespoon of salt to the mixture.
2 – Clean the silver with salt
Salt can be used in 2 different ways. The first uses the same system that we have seen before with baking soda, but substituting salt for baking soda, it’s that easy.
And the other way to clean silver is to take a small container and pour 2-3 tablespoons of fine salt, then add a few drops of water until it becomes like a paste, with which we will rub the silver pieces. Then rinse it with plenty of water and rub it with a dry cloth.
For this, we can help ourselves with a toothbrush to reach all the corners and reliefs. The use of the toothbrush is especially indicated to clean chains and necklaces.
3 – Clean with baking soda paste
We take a small container where we are going to make the paste and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, then with a teaspoon, we add a few drops of water and mix until the baking soda paste is formed.
With this paste, we are going to rub the jewel with our fingers or with the help of a toothbrush. Then rinse it with plenty of water and rub it with a dry cloth.
4 – Clean with water and lemon juice.
Add water to a saucepan, enough so that the jewels remain submerged 2 or 3 cm, and heat it over medium heat with the jewels inside. While we cut 2 lemons and drain them in a glass. Once the water is boiling, add the lemon juice little by little and stir with a non-metallic object, as we could scratch the jewels.
Turn off the heat and let stand for about 10 min. Then we take them out, rinse abundantly with water until cool and rub with a dry cloth.
5 – Clean with baking soda and vinegar
We take a container and put the jewels, then we cover them with bicarbonate and rub so that the bicarbonate reaches all corners. We take a tool to remove the jewelry that is not made of metal, and add the vinegar very little by little since a chemical reaction will take place in the form of foam and gases will be released.
begins, remove the jewels and moisten with more vinegar. We leave them for a few minutes until the chemical reaction stops, rinse with plenty of water and rub with a dry cloth.
6 – Clean with vinegar
We take a container and place the jewels, then add the vinegar until they are covered. Let stand a few minutes, and we are stirring with a non-metallic utensil. Then rinse with plenty of water and rub with a dry cloth. This method is valid for cleaning silver that is NOT very dirty.
7 – Clean with vinegar and salt
We take a saucepan and put 3 parts of water and one part of vinegar, then add a tablespoon of salt and stir until dissolved. Place the jewels in the saucepan and heat it up, stirring every so often. When it starts to boil, remove it from the heat and wait about 5 minutes and rinse with plenty of water. Then we rub them with a dry cloth.
8 – Clean with toothpaste
This method works very well with slightly soiled jewelry, it is preferable to use white toothpaste and the whitening type since it has more abrasive particles and the finish is a very shiny polish.
We take the jewels and add enough toothpaste so that they are well impregnated, then rub for 5 minutes, preferably with a toothbrush. Then we rinse them and dry them with a cloth.
This method also works to polish silver jewelry.
9 – Clean with turpentine or ammonia
The first thing is to make sure that we are in a well-ventilated room. The two products should never be mixed
We take a cloth, preferably cotton, and wet a corner with a few drops of turpentine or ammonia and rub the pieces, as the cloth gets dirty we change to rubbing with the clean cloth.
Then you have to clean the jewelry with soap and water a couple of times to eliminate the smell of turpentine.
10- Clean with lemon and salt
This method is useful for larger pieces such as pendants, china, cutlery, or silver pieces.
We split a lemon and take one of the 2 halves, and prick it with a fork to make it easier for its juice to come out. Then, with half of the lemon facing up, add a tablespoon of salt and spread evenly over the entire surface, and rub the pieces on a cloth. Then rinse them with plenty of water and dry them with a dry cloth.
How to clean very dirty silver jewelry, is our recommendation.
We have seen in this post many home methods to clean silver, but this procedure is ideal for cleaning very dirty or black silver jewelry and we want to recover it with little effort and a professional finish. To do this we will apply a combination of techniques that we have seen before.
- We take the jewelry in our hands and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid, wet them a little, and rub until foam comes out. Then rinse with plenty of water.
- We put a container with vinegar and leave them for about 5 minutes and rinse with water.
- We place them inside another container without letting them dry. Add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and rub again with your fingers.
- We heat water and prepare the aluminum, as we have seen before (a large piece and small pieces like confetti)
- We take a bowl and line the inside with aluminum foil, put the bicarbonate-impregnated jewels, and add the hot water. Remove and add the aluminum confetti. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
- We rinse the jewels with water and add the toothpaste (better if it is whitening paste) and rub with our fingers and then with a toothbrush, to reach all the corners.
And finally, rinse with water and rub with a dry cotton cloth.
If there is still any stain left by the reliefs and joints, we can repeat the process.
How to clean silver jewelry with stones, gems, pearls, or gold plated.
The first thing we have to know is that some gems, precious stones, and pearls, being of natural origin, are sensitive to high temperatures, abrasion, and chemical products, so they must be given special treatment.
Natural pearls are very delicate and are sensitive to chemicals and soaps that can dry them out, end up losing their shine and cause cracks in the surface. This damage is irreparable, so we recommend caution, and if you are not sure, go to your trusted jeweler.
If you want to enjoy the silver color that silver offers you and you do not want to have to clean it, we recommend that you buy rhodium-plated silver jewelry, since rhodium is a hypoallergenic metal, which in addition to preventing oxidation also prevents skin rashes in people who are allergic to nickel or other metals.
We recommend that you avoid buying silver jewelry from countries where the use of nickel in jewelry is not regulated since contact with nickel can accelerate or aggravate dermatitis, eczema, itching, and other skin reactions.