If you have or ever owned silver jewelry, then you are familiar with the fact that it tends to tarnish over time. This is especially when exposed to air or certain chemicals like chlorine.
But on a hot summer day, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing your favorite silver jewelry before jumping in the pool. The consequences of that may be dire.
The exposure to chlorine significantly ruins the silver jewelry, which then begs the question, what do you do next? Do you simply give up on the piece of jewelry or is there something that can be done to salvage it?
In this post, we will look at some of the ways you can fix damaged silver that was exposed to chlorine.
How To Fix Chlorine Damaged Silver?
So, you’ve exposed your silver jewelry to chlorine or chlorinated water, and now it is damaged. The trick is to act as quickly as possible. Luckily, we have a few solutions you can try and they are as follows:
1. Soap and Warm Water.
As soon as you realize your silver has been exposed to chlorine, the quickest solution is to clean it with warm water and some mild soap.
This will wash off any chlorine residue before any real damage occurs. For this solution, apply a bit of the mild soap to your hand and use your fingers to rub it on the silver piece.
Continue using your fingers to scrub the silver, and then rinse it out with warm water. Let the silver piece air dry after that.
If the silver was already tarnished by the time, you clean it, then it’s likely that this solution will not be enough to repair the damage.
You will have at least cleaned off the chlorine so no more reaction can take place resulting in any more damage. You can, however, polish the silver after cleaning it to see if it helps.
2. Baking Soda solution.
Baking soda is a great option when it comes to removing tarnish. There are two ways of making the solution depending on how damaged the silver piece is.
First, however, you’d need an aluminum dish or a bowl covered in aluminum. The aluminum serves by taking the sulfides off of the silver sulfides (tarnish).
To start, you would need to clean the silver piece with mild soap and warm water, before placing them in the dish/bowl. For the baking soda solution, you can mix a quarter cup of baking soda for every four cups of hot water.
Pour the hot solution in the dish/bowl and let the silver piece sit in there for some minutes, 10 minutes at best.
If the silver piece was heavily tarnished, you can add a quarter cup of salt or half a cup of white vinegar to the hot baking soda solution before soaking the silver piece in it.
Once the soaking time is done, remove the silver piece, rinse it and dry it with a soft cloth or microfiber.
You can repeat this procedure a couple of times until you get the desired result. Simply pour out the solution and soak the silver in a fresh hot solution, in a clean aluminum dish.
This method while effective is not encouraged for silver pieces with precious or semi-precious stones.
It is also not suitable for vintage silver pieces that have been purposefully oxidized for that antique finish.
The solution may take away the antique and vintage appeal the silver piece had originally.
3. Baking Soda paste.
Instead of a solution, or if you are skeptical about soaking your jewelry in chemicals, you could use baking soda paste.
The paste can be made by mixing 2 parts of baking soda with one part of water. For example, mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of water.
Use your finger to rub the paste onto your silver piece and scrub it gently.
Be careful since baking soda is slightly abrasive and might damage the silver further, if not done gently.
After rubbing the paste on the silver, you can rinse it off with warm water and dry it with a clean soft cloth.
4. Silver Polishing Products.
Some people would advise against home remedies like using toothpaste, lemon juice, or aluminum and baking soda solution.
They believe that the procedures may micro etch the surfaces of the silver leaving it more prone to tarnish in the long run.
Such individuals would suggest to rather use silver polishing products like a silver polishing cloth that has been treated to remove tarnish from your silver.
You can use the cloth to rub and polish the silver until all the tarnish comes off and your silver piece is as good as new.
It’s a great and safe option especially for those who aren’t sure about mixing the home remedies.
As you can see, there are plenty of solutions to try out, if you ever find that your silver jewelry has been damaged by chlorine.
Of course, when all else fails, your best bet is to take the silver piece to a professional jeweler for professional cleaning or expert guidance on what can be done.
Some people believe, however, that if you continue to frequently wear the piece, the oil and heat from your body will clean up the silver.
If you ask us, you’d rather be safe than sorry, the quicker you act, the easier it will be to repair the damage.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.