If you have silver jewelry, one of the things that you must be ready for is the constant need for cleaning. Although silver jewelry has a nice, lustrous shine, it is often lost after some time because silver and sterling silver jewelry naturally tarnish, developing a blackish coat or specks that have to be removed to retain the original shine of the jewelry.
The good news is that there are numerous cleaning solutions that work well for sterling silver jewelry; you only need to find that the cleaning solution that works for your jewelry.
One of these solutions is the use of an ultrasonic cleaner. It’s regarded as one of the most powerful and highly effective cleaning solutions for jewelry. But is it ideal for your sterling silver jewelry?
Does ultrasonic jewelry cleaner work on silver?
Yes. You can use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner to clean silver, along with gold and jewelry made of all other precious metals.
This is because the silver jewelry won’t be affected by the heat and pressure or the sonic forces in the ultrasonic cleaner.
Therefore, you can clean your silver jewelry on the ultrasonic cleaner safely and without worrying about damage. This applies to platinum jewelry too.
How to Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner to Brighten Tarnished Silver
Before we look at how you can use an ultrasonic cleaner to brighten up your sterling silver jewelry, we’ll first take a look at how the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner works.
How do ultrasonic cleaners work?
Ultrasonic cleaning works by use of an ultrasonic cleaner which uses chemicals dissolved in an aqueous media as well as ultrasound waves to knock off and remove contaminants and foreign particles like tarnish, dirt, and oil, even mold from the jewelry. Some of the cleaners have mold-release agents, as well as polishing compounds that work well for the more delicate pieces of jewelry. All you need to do is to make sure that the items to be cleaned are suitable and safe to be cleaned in this equipment without getting damaged. Also, the piece should be one that is easy to clean, and it will not be damaged by immersion into the cleaning solution.
Using ultrasonic cleaners to brighten tarnished silver jewelry
The first thing you need to do is to choose the right ultrasonic cleaner.
The ultrasonic cleaner, as the name suggests, cleans jewelry through a process known as ultrasonic cavitation, which happens in the ultrasonic cleaning solution.
The cleaning pretty much depends on cavitation, which happens when the generator-powered ultrasonic transducers are powered up, thereby creating billions of microbubbles.
These bubbles implode during cleaning, and in the process, they carry away the contaminants from the jewelry being cleaned.
For the removal of tarnish in crevices and other hard-to-reach places, the bubbles from cavitation will get into these impossible spaces, removing the contaminants, grime, and tarnish.
These spaces would have been unreachable otherwise, even with the use of polishing cloths or soft brushes, which is why they use of an ultrasonic cleaner is ideal for your intricately patterned sterling silver jewelry.
How to clean tarnished sterling silver jewelry
First, find the right ultrasonic cleaner. This is the ultrasonic cleaner that promises the best cleaning performance. One of the features to look for in the best ultrasonic cleaners is the presence of a ‘Sweep’ function.
This is an important function that ensures the delivery and the homogenous distribution of the ultrasound all around the cleaning bath solution. The Sweep function is also important because it prevents the formation of streaks on the surface of the silver jewelry.
Along with the ultrasonic cleaner, you also need to find the best ultrasonic cleaning solution. This cleaning solution is often an acidic solution/ detergent which will clean the jewelry intensively, leaving it bright and shiny.
With the cleaning solutions and cleaner ready, you’d have to follow the following steps:
- Fill up the ultrasonic cleaner’s tank halfway with the jewelry cleaner and water up to the marked fill line. Then put back the plastic cover to cover the tank before turning on the unit. Let it run for about 10 minutes – this allows for the solution to be degassed. Degassing happens when the cavitation-inhibiting air (trapped) is driven off the tank. Note that you must degas the unit every time you prepare a new solution.
- Once ready for use, place your silver jewelry into the cleaning basket gently, making sure that the pieces to be cleaned do not come in contact with each other. Next up, lower the basket into the solution, then replace the cover for the tank.
- Set the timer to 1 minute as you watch the results. If the silver jewelry to be cleaned is heavily tarnished, you may have to set the cleaner for longer. Just make sure that the jewelry is cleaned to your highest level of satisfaction before you remove them. When done, remove the jewelry, then rinse the pieces with cold water. Wipe them dry using a dry, soft, microfiber cloth before storing the jewelry, preferably in a soft cloth bag.
- Change the cleaning solution once it gets discolored or if the cleaning starts taking longer. Consider discarding the solution by following the instructions given by the manufacturer.
Products you could use
If you are looking for a reliable ultrasonic jewelry cleaner you could use at home or at your store, investing in one may be helpful.
Besides the machine, you have to find the best cleaning solution that’s ideal for your sterling silver jewelry, and this iSonic CSST01 ultrasonic Tarnish Remover is one of the best ultrasonic tarnish removers. It doesn’t have a strong odor, and it will remove that silver tarnish in just one cleaning cycle. The best part is that it removes tarnish, grime, and contaminants from the crevices, as well as the complex geometrics.
Ultrasonic jewelry cleaning is ideal for sterling silver jewelry, and if you are looking for an easy and effective way of cleaning your jewelry, an ultrasonic cleaner would be a good investment.