Silver fashion jewelry is one of the most popular fashion jewelries in use, primarily because it is not only beautiful, but also versatile, as the sparkling shine of sterling silver is much easier to match with clothing and other fashion accessories, than gold or other colored stones. However, one problem with silver fashion jewelry is the need to maintain the sparkle and shine.
Without proper maintenance, jewelry made from silver can come into contact with certain chemicals and start to tarnish, making it lose its natural shine. If further neglected, silver will eventually appear black. Here are some things you can do in order to regularly clean your silver jewelry:
- Using Commercial Cleaning Products – After market cleaning and polishing products for silver are readily available, and in some cases – affordable. Most of these products come in the form of wipes and cloth sets as well as some that are sold as liquid agents. What is important is to carefully choose the cleaning products according to your needs.
- For instance, a silver jewelry that only has grease stains or a mild to medium case of tarnishing will need a cleaning product that is not as strong as the one you will need to clean it that has already blackened. Do not be afraid to ask for a demonstration at the store, in order to make sure that the product you are buying really works.
- Using Homemade Cleaning Products – if you are more of the DIY person, or you are currently unable to purchase a commercial cleaning product, you can do your own silver cleaning using materials that are readily available at home. All you need is one-fourth cups of salt, liquid dish soap, and baking soda, along with water, aluminum foil, a large pot, a towel, and a strainer. Line the insides and the bottom of the pot with the foil, mix all of the other ingredients (salt, liquid dish soap, baking soda, and water) inside the pot. \
- Place the jewelry to be cleaned in the solution and place the pot under low heat (non boiling) for a few minutes. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let the jewelry sit in the solution for another 5 minutes. Afterwards, strain the cleaning solution from the pot and rinse the jewelry under cold or lukewarm running water. Make sure that the jewelry is clean of all the solution, particularly because salt can be corrosive if left indefinitely. Use the towel to dry the now-clean silver.
- Toothpaste – Silver jewelry with only mild to medium tarnish can be cleaned with toothpaste just by dampening the silver, and brushing it with a kid’s toothbrush with generous amounts of white toothpaste. Make sure not to rub vigorously, as you could scratch the silver. When done, use a clean, soft towel to dry your jewelry.
Last but not the least, for severely tarnished or blackened jewelries, you can always take it back to the shop and have it cleaned professionally. The cost of professional cleaning, while still expensive compared to the above methods, are still relatively affordable and will not break your wallet.