16 Tips to Clean Silver Jewelry

As you have probably known, silver jewelry will quickly tarnish over time. Unlike those made of other metals, silver pieces are delicate, so you should find a way how to clean silver jewelry without damaging it.

If you have a particularly precious piece, the best option is to get it professionally cleaned. Otherwise, you can choose one of many DIY ways to do the job on your own. Let’s see.

Maintaining Your Jewelry

Keep your silver jewelry appropriately to prevent tarnishing as much as possible. Always check if the piece is dry before storing it in a special bag for this purpose.

Another option is to wrap it in the anti-tarnish paper, acid-free tissue paper, or flannel. It needs to be separated from other jewelry, especially those made of stainless steel, rubber, and paint.

Clean silver jewelry often in warm soapy water, preferably promptly after every use to prevent tarnishing. Wash your pieces separately from silver bowls, trays, silverware, or jewelry made of stainless steel to avoid scratching.

Always rinse jewelry under running water after cleaning and dry it with a soft silver cleaning cloth, cotton polishing cloth, or microfiber cloth. Never use a rough towel since silver is soft, and you can scratch it that way. Plus, never use rubber gloves while washing silver jewelry since rubber corrodes this precious metal.

 

1. Dishwashing soap and water

Dishwashing soap and water
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Bowl
  • Ammonia- and phosphate-free dishwashing soap
  • Warm water
  • Soft microfiber cloth
  • Toothbrush

Instructions

You can efficiently clean your silver jewelry with a mixture of a few drops of mild dishwashing soap and warm water. Stir the solution until bubbles appear.

Dip a soft cotton cloth in this mix, rub the silver, rinse it thoroughly with cold running water, and dry it with a dry soft microfiber cloth, silver cloth, or paper towel. Use a toothbrush when necessary to clean crevices.

It is the first method you should use to clean silver jewelry since it is entirely harmless. It will work when your piece is not too dirty. Otherwise, you will probably need to try some other procedure.

 

2. Laundry detergent

Laundry detergent
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Bowl
  • Laundry detergent
  • Warm water
  • Soft cotton cloth

Instructions

Add a small cup of laundry detergent to hot water and dip your jewelry in this foamy solution for five minutes. Rinse the removed piece under running water and then dry it with a soft cotton cloth.

Keep in mind that you can’t remove tough tarnish stains this way, but it is an efficient method to clean dirt from the jewelry crevices.

 

3. Baking soda

Baking soda
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Soft cotton cloth
  • Toothbrush

Instructions

Start by combining baking soda and water in a 3: 1 ratio to make a paste. Use a soft cotton cloth to rub it gently onto the jewelry until the paste dries. Rinse pieces under running water and dry them with a soft microfiber cloth.

For removing heavier tarnish, you will need to rub the paste inside the cavities or even scrub it with a toothbrush.

 

4. Baking soda, aluminum foil, and salt

Baking soda, aluminum foil, and salt
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Aluminum foil
  • Bowl or pan
  • Kitchen tongs
  • Boiling water
  • Baking soda
  • Soft cotton cloth

Instructions

Start by lining the pan or bowl surface with aluminum foil and fill it with boiling water. Take care that the dull foil side faces down and the shiny sides up.

Add 0.25 cup baking soda and two teaspoons kosher salt per cup of water and stir until seeing that bubbles form. Let your silver jewelry sit in this solution for 2 to 5, or max 10 minutes when silver is highly dirty, and ensure direct contact between it and the foil.

The tarnish will transfer to the aluminum foil during the chemical reaction, followed by a rotten egg smell. In the end, remove your pieces with kitchen tongs and rinse them under cold running water and dry them thoroughly with a soft cotton cloth.

This method is excellent when you want to clean the item made or plated with this precious metal, including trays, plates, and cutlery.

 

5. White vinegar and baking soda

White vinegar and baking soda
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Bowl
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Soft cotton cloth

Instructions

Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with 0.5 cups white vinegar in a bowl. Be prepared for some short fizzing in the beginning. Soak your silver jewelry into this mixture and let it sit for two to three hours. Rinse all pieces thoroughly under running water and dry them with a soft cotton cloth.

 

6. Salt bath

Salt bath
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Bowl
  • Salt
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hot water
  • Toothpaste
  • Soft microfiber cloth

Instructions

It is a suitable method for lightly tarnished silver jewelry. Pour two cups of water into a mid-sized bowl until covering the jewelry, and add a pinch of salt and a few strips of aluminum foil inside. Rinse it under running water and dry with a soft microfiber cloth in the end.

If you have a piece made of pure silver, the salt bath will take the tarnish off right away. However, it is not a method of choice if your jewelry has gems since submerging it in this solution can negatively affect expensive jewels.

 

7. Cornstarch

Cornstarch
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Bowl
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Soft cotton cloth
  • Toothbrush

Instructions

Make a mixture of two parts cornstarch with one part of water, apply it over your jewelry, and let it dry. Rinse it thoroughly and dry with a cotton cloth or microfiber towel until it starts shining.

 

8. Lemon and olive oil

Lemon and olive oil
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Bowl
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Soft cotton cloth

Instructions

Add a teaspoon olive oil to 0.5 cup lemon juice. Dip a soft cotton cloth in this solution and gently rub the silver jewelry piece until shining. In the end, rinse it thoroughly under running water and dry it.

 

9. Lemon and salt

Lemon and salt
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Bowl
  • Lemon
  • Salt
  • Hot water
  • White silver cleaning cloth

Instructions

Squeeze one whole lemon into a bowl full of hot water and add three tablespoons of salt. Let a tarnished piece of jewelry sit in that solution for five minutes, rinse it and rub thoroughly with a white silver cleaning cloth.

Remember that regular cotton cloth is not an excellent solution since it requires too much effort resulting in unsatisfactory results.

 

10. Beer

Beer
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Cup
  • Beer
  • Soft cotton or microfiber cloth

Instructions

You will need a cup of light beer to soak a silver piece of jewelry for up to 10 minutes. Then, rinse it under running water and dry with soft cotton or microfiber cloth in the end.

 

11. Toothpaste

Toothpaste
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • White non-whitening toothpaste
  • Soft-bristle brush or dishwashing sponge
  • Soft microfiber cloth

Instructions

Non-whitening toothpaste is an excellent substitute for silver cleaners, but this method is unsuitable for silver-plated pieces. Keep in mind that most toothpaste types can discolor your jewelry, so you should be careful when making this decision.

Always choose white non-whitening toothpaste and avoid gels. Once you find the right product, dilute it with water and apply a small amount over your piece of jewelry with a soft-bristle brush or dishwashing sponge.

Rub the piece very gently before rinsing it under warm water and drying it with a soft microfiber cloth.

 

12. Ketchup

Ketchup
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Ketchup
  • Toothbrush
  • Soft cotton cloth

Instructions

Take a drop of ketchup with a toothbrush and gently clean your silver jewelry. Rinse residue with running warm water and dry the piece with a soft cotton cloth. It is a particularly excellent option for a silver ring.

 

13. Windex and peroxide cocktail

Windex and peroxide cocktail
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Small bowl
  • Windex
  • Peroxide
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Soft microfiber cloth

Instructions

This method is an excellent way to eliminate dirt and disinfect a piece of your silver jewelry. Mix 0.5 cups of hydrogen peroxide with 0.5 cups of Windex window cleaner.

Soak the jewelry for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and brush it with a soft toothbrush when necessary. Rinse a piece under running cold water and dry it with soft cotton or microfiber cloth.

 

14. Multipurpose WD-40

Multipurpose WD-40
Something Borrowed

You will need

  • Multipurpose WD-40
  • Soft microfiber cloth

Instructions

It is an easy solution for cleaning silver items. Everything you need is to buy a WD-40 multi-use spray and apply it appropriately. Spray this agent over your silver jewelry and polish it with a soft microfiber cloth in a circular motion.

 

15. Silver polish

Silver polish
Something Borrowed

Wiping your silver pieces with a microfiber cloth will remove dust, but you will need a targeted silver polish to polish silver properly. It is the best option for cleaning an antique or intricate designed piece.

Put the polish on a soft cloth and rub it on each item in an up-and-down motion. Then, rinse your piece under running warm water and dry it with a soft cloth.

 

16. Professional cleaning

Professional cleaning
Something Borrowed

If you have a fine piece of silver jewelry with precious gems, especially diamonds, you can clean it with soap and water. However, it is a better option to take it to a jeweler and get it professionally cleaned.

 

Summary

Remember that the silver jewelry you wear frequently needs only occasional polishing. However, you need to thoroughly clean silver pieces that sit in a box or showcase for a long time.

In most cases, DIY methods will remove tarnish and keep your silver shine, but you should be careful with antique pieces and those with precious gems.

Leave a Comment