Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cleaning silver

I got my scale necklace back from Cheongju a few weeks ago. It had some tarnish on it, so I wanted to clean it before putting it away. It would take forever to try to clean it with silver polish, so I cleaned it with this very fast and easy method. I don't know what this method is called. I heard of it years ago, but never tried it. About a year ago I tried it for the first time cause I had a lot of my old silver jewelry to clean and it worked very well.

You need:
a pot
aluminum foil
baking soda
boiling water

This is how it goes:
Put aluminum foil in the bottom of the pot.
Put in the silver jewelry.
Put some baking soda in the pan with the jewelry. I don't know how much is recommended, but I covered the bottom of the pan.
Pour the boiling water into the pan with the jewelry and baking soda.
The tarnish disappears.

I looked around on the internet for this method and found another person saying to add the baking soda to water and bring it to a boil and dunk the silver in to clean it.

I have no idea how this works.

Only thing to be careful about is if your jewelry has stones. I would not recommend trying this with fragile stones like opal or turquoise. Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies should be ok.

I am not sure what this will do to a patina, for example silver that is black in the deeper parts of the design. I wouldn't recommend trying, unless you have a way to reapply the patina if you ruin it.

This only removes tarnish. If your jewelry is gunked up with dirt and hand lotion this won't necessarily clean that off.

There are silver dips that remove tarnish. They work well, but they stink. I think this probably works just as well as long as there aren't any fragile stones on the piece.


Maggie said...

I remember reading this too Jon, I have something I want to try this on, thanks for the reminder!

jon said...

I was surprised at how well it works.