Silver is a favorite metal for jewelery and trinkets all over the world due to its really nice soft and warm qualities. It is very easy to be tarnished. You are advised to store silver in acid free cloth or tissue paper to keep it tarnish free. But back in the real world, most of us don’t like to lock things away. Jewelery is for wearing, handling and often leaving hanging around the house.
Silver will get tarnished, its a fact of life. But its not a fact to lose sleep over. This metal is simple to clean. You do not need to rush out and buy special cleaning kits or metal polishing cloths either. Nearly all silver can be cleaned at home with a few simple items. I hope you find these silver cleaning tips useful.
A note of warning: any polishing of silver should be kept to a minimum. This is a soft metal and polishing will remove a tiny amount of the actual silver from the surface of your item. Over time this can have a noticeable effect, with a real ‘worn’ appearance. So don’t go mad with that cloth. Keep all polishing gentle please!
How to Clean Tarnished Silver
Firstly silver tarnish is often surprisingly easy to remove simply with a soft cloth and a little time. You don’t need to rub hard to remove the tarnish. Cleaning with a microfiber cloth is a great idea as microfiber cloths are gentle and do not leave any ‘bits’ behind. You’ll quickly see the dark tarnish transfer from the silver to the cloth. When you’ve finished you can put the cloth into the washing machine so it can be cleaned and used again.
For very tarnished or ornate silver with nooks and crannies your cloth won’t reach you will need a slightly more technical approach. There still is no need to reach for the chemical cleaners though.
Tough Silver Tarnish Remover
* Glass or Plastic Bowl
* Aluminum Foil
* Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda or Bicarb)
Simply put a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of a glass (or plastic) bowl. Add your pieces of tarnished silver. Sprinkle on some salt and bicarbonate of soda (I’d use a tablespoon of each in a medium sized bowl). Add hot water. You will hear sizzling and the tarnish will be absorbed into the water then deposited onto the foil. It is electrolysis in action.
Don’t lean to close over the bowl as the fumes are toxic.
Cleaning silver with foil and soda is really quick and easy. But don’t do it too often or if not really necessary as you will over time, wear away your silver.