SIlver Cleaning (DIY Part 1 Clean Your Silver and Sterling Silver Jewelry the Easy Way)
Silver Cleaning…. Soooo not on my top 10 to do list….Yet don’t you just hate it when your beautiful silver jewelry turns black? And don’t you hate the idea of always making repeat trips to the jeweler for a cleaning? Yup, drives me nuts, too. Almost enough to put a woman off getting silver jewelry. (well…..in my case, ‘Not’! J )
The tarnish that comes from oxidation usually intimidates people from buying and wearing silver. Don’t let this deter you from owning and wearing some absolutely beautiful pieces of jewelry.
DIY Silver Cleaning in Case You Don't Have Silver Cleaner on Hand
Since I am a big DIY fan (and for those who don’t know… DIY means Do It Yourself. J ), I try to do what I can myself. For me, this means eliminating an extra expense for one item that I can use somewhere else…hmmmnn…..let me see…..I can skip buying several cans of professional silver cleaning paste, do it myself and the money I save I can put it toward more silver jewelry. Now that is an idea I can totally go for!
My silver hoop earrings….I missed a few spots, but you get the idea 🙂
I tried a few methods that I’d been told about and didn’t like a lot of them. Scratch that. I didn’t like most of them. One in particular had me scratching my head. I guess you can use cornmeal to rub some of the tarnish off. When I thought about this idea, it seemed a bit time consuming. And even though cornmeal doesn’t have the abrasiveness of something like steel wool, well who is to say that even cornmeal might not scratch a softer and more delicate piece of jewelry? I decided this was a no go.
Then I thought about something else. Often when I cook with tomatoes, like making an all-day tomato sauce or an all-day chili, I find a really, really shiny pot when I get ready to wash it. Apparently the acid in the tomato ‘cleans’ up the tarnish or detritus on the pot making it shiny again. Yet I never saw any pitting or damage to the pot. Well, other than the scrapes that my metal spoon has made over time.
I figured why not try this on my silverware and my jewelry? I know there are a lot of other how-to’s out there, but this was what I experienced when I tried to clean my silver jewelry. Even better, my earrings weren’t damaged in anyway.
My Opal and Silver Earrings…VERY dirty !
Being cautious, however, I thought I would try cleaning a pair of hoop earrings that my brother had gotten me years ago for Christmas. I honestly didn’t know that they were silver. Not until I noticed that they were dark. Hmmmnnn…not really even dark, but BLACK!
Good enough to try an experiment on.
Silver Cleaning…My First Method
I grabbed a small piece of aluminum and placed about a good tablespoon or tablespoon and a half on the
foil. Then I put the earrings in the sauce, side by side. Stirring with my finger, I pushed the earrings around in the sauce until they were covered. Then I let ‘em sit.
First step…tomato sauce
I admit, sometimes I’m not very patient. But I gave it my best and allowed the earrings to set in the tomato sauce for a full 15 minutes. Then I pulled them out and started rubbing with my fingertips. Gradually I noticed the black rubbing off. But in some places, the tarnish was stubborn. That’s what I get for letting the earrings go un-cleaned for years.
I tried waiting another 10 minutes or 20. I honestly don’t remember. Knowing me, I probably just thought it was another 10 minutes, then I went to do something else and forgot the earrings. Possibly even for quite a while. The point is, when I got back to the earrings I was able to rub off the remainder of the tarnish and……drum roll, please….the earrings didn’t appear damaged.
Even the sides are clean.
I think it’s safe to say that this simple DIY home remedy works. But it still doesn’t hurt to try it on a smaller piece that you don’t mind experimenting on in case you are at all not sure. I still think it is safe, but it never hurts to be cautious, right? And while most women have tomato sauce in their kitchen, if that’s not the case with you, I bet you still have ketchup, right? Trust me, that will still work too.
And if you find you still don’t trust this home-made remedy, try these silver cleaner choices. They’re really good brands and will do the job efficiently. Better yet, there’s no shipping.
Now…go clean some silver!
Part 2 will be coming up soon 🙂