Tips for Cleaning Jewelry! March 19 2014
Silver combines with sulfur and forms silver sulfide. Silver sulfide is black. When a thin coating of silver sulfide forms on the surface of silver, it darkens the silver. The silver can be returned to its former luster by removing the silver sulfide coating from the surface.
Here are a few tips to remove tarnish:
1) Polishing cloths – good for rings & pendants, not as effective on chains (available at WillowCreek)
2) Retail Cleaning Dips – easy and fast (available at WillowCreek!)
3) Do-it-Yourself with Baking Soda:
- Line a bowl with aluminum foil (or use an aluminum pan)
- Sprinkle the bottom with about a tablespoon of baking soda
- Place your sterling silver charms or chains in the bowl
- Pour a little hot water (boiling ok) over the top. Let sit for about 30 seconds to a minute. Flip the jewelry with tweezers to ensure contact with the aluminum foil. (This is cool – the sulfur is attracted to the aluminum and “leaves” the silver.)
4) NOTE: all of the above are great for sterling and hard stones – not advised for pearls, turquoise or other soft stones (like lapis or malachite)
5) Professional cleaning from a jeweler using an Ultrasonic cleaning machine
Storing Tips to Prevent Tarnish:Store in an airtight container – like a plastic bag or box. Use Anti-Tarnish bags and/or anti-tarnish tabs (available at WillowCreek). Some people have had success adding a Silica Gel Pack also!