We all know that sinking feeling when we pull out our favourite silver piece and realize it’s lost its lustre. Whether it’s a necklace, earrings, or a treasured family heirloom, nothing devalues jewelry like tarnish. Tarnish is the result of a natural chemical reaction between silver and sulphur in the air, and there’s no way to prevent it entirely. But don’t despair – there are ways to remove tarnish and restore your silver to its original shine. With a little time and effort, you can make your silver jewelry look brand new again.
How to Clean Silver:
The first step is to figure out what kind of tarnish you’re dealing with. If your silver has a yellow or light brown hue, that’s surface tarnish. Surface tarnish is easy to remove and can be taken care of with just a few household items. If your silver looks dark or black, that’s called deep tarnish. Deep tarnish will require special attention and some stronger cleaning agents.
To remove surface tarnish, mix equal parts baking soda and water to form a paste. Dip a clean cloth in the paste and rub it onto the surface of the silver in a circular motion. Don’t forget to get into all the nooks and crannies! Once you’ve covered the entire piece, rinse it off with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth. If the surface tarnish is particularly stubborn, you can also try using white vinegar instead of water. Just be sure to rinse off the vinegar completely when you’re done – you don’t want it to eat away at the silver!
If your silver is deeply tarnished, you’ll need to use commercial silver cleaner or dip it in a solution of warm water and dish detergent. Be sure to follow the instructions on whichever product you choose – some require that you leave the silver to soak for several minutes before scrubbing, while others should be used with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse off the cleaner thoroughly and dry your silver with a soft cloth when you’re done.
Don’t let tarnish ruin your enjoyment of your favourite silver pieces! With a little elbow grease (and maybe some special cleaner), you can make them look as good as new again.