Silver cutlery and jewellery usually tarnish after some time and can sometimes even turn black. A certain chemical reaction between the silver and sulphur in the air causes your silver to tarnish. Silver items and accessories are often plated with a thin layer of rhodium which protects the metal while making it shiny. However, this protective layer wears off, making the silver tarnished or discoloured.
Silver additionally reacts with perfume, make-up, hand cream, hair spray, oil from your skin, and certain foods that cause the metal to tarnish, losing its lustre and sparkle. Fortunately, there are ways to clean silver simply, without too much expense. Continue reading to find out how to clean silver at home. For more silver cleaning methods, read the 5 best ways to clean silver.
1. White Vinegar And Baking Soda
White vinegar and baking soda are excellent natural cleaners and safe to use in and around your entire home. Although this method shouldn’t be used for antique silver cutlery or jewellery, it’s still ideal for restoring the shine of sterling silver items.
Place the silver items into a suitable-sized bowl and pour white vinegar into the bowl to cover them. Add approximately 4 tablespoons of baking soda for each cup of vinegar, then let your silver sit in the solution for 1 hour. After an hour, rinse the silver with clean water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
2. Ammonia And Water
Ammonia and water make it simple to brighten your silver jewellery, cutlery, and accessories. Mix 1 part ammonia and 2 parts of lukewarm water, then place your silver items in the mixture and leave them to soak for 10 minutes. When it’s time, take them out of the liquid solution and wipe with a soft cloth to dry before using a dry cotton cloth to buff the silver. If you have antique silverware, it’s best not to use this method.
3. Lemon-Lime Soda
This method is best for only slightly tarnished silver items. Soak your silver in a bowl filled with lemon and lime soda. Let the jewellery and cutlery soak in the soda for 1 hour before removing. Rinse with water until clean and dry thoroughly with a clean, dry, soft cloth, or tissue paper.
Using toothpaste to clean silver is an easy DIY method. It’s best to use non-abrasive and non-gel toothpaste. Squeeze a little amount onto a soft cloth and rub onto the silverware or jewellery in circular motions to clean off the tarnish. Leave the toothpaste on your silver items for 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with water to remove the toothpaste. Dry with a soft cloth until the silver is clean and shiny.
5. Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitiser is an incredibly fast solution, especially if you’re on the go and need to brighten up your silver rings. Apply a small amount of hand sanitiser to a soft piece of tissue or handkerchief and gently rub your jewellery until the tarnish and discolouration are gone and your silver is completely clean. Hand Sanitiser is best not used on jewellery items that have encrusted mineral stones as the sanitiser may damage the stone.
6. Tomato Sauce
It sounds weird and unconventional, but tomato sauce works well at removing tarnishes from silver. This method is ideal if you only have a few small silver items that need cleaning. Squeeze a couple of drops of ketchup onto a piece of tissue paper, then rub your silver items. For dark discolourations and tarnish, apply the tomato sauce directly to your silverware or jewellery, then leave it to sit for 15 minutes. Then rub the silver items with a microfiber cloth and rinse with warm water. For certain silverware items that have more detail, you can use a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean between crevices or corners.
7. Lemon And Salt
For this method, squeeze a lemon into a bowl along with 3 tablespoons of salt and hot water. Place your tarnished jewellery and cutlery items in to soak for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the silver items and gently rub them with a soft cloth. This will assist in removing tarnishes.
Tip: A white silver cleaning cloth can help in lifting tarnishes. A regular cloth requires you to put more effort into cleaning your silverware and doesn’t always provide desired results.
We hope one of these methods helps you next time you need to clean any silver cutlery or jewellery. All methods are solid solutions for tarnishes and discolourations. You should keep in mind that silver will inevitably tarnish from exposure to air and light. Storing your silver items properly will slow down the rate of tarnishing. Additionally, apply a protective layer of hair conditioner to your silver jewellery to prevent it from tarnishing. Now grab all your tarnished silver accessories, jewellery, and cutlery, and restore them to their original shining state.