How do you care for your sterling silver jewelry, especially when they turn blackish and not as lustrous as the necklace was before when you bought it?
If you have high-quality sterling silver necklaces, you know that routine care of the necklaces is critical to keeping the high-end jewelry pieces looking great for many years.
But for that to happen, you need to know how to clean the sterling silver pieces the right way. In this article, however, we’ll show you how to do it the right way. So, let’s get right into it.
How to clean sterling silver necklace
Cleaning silver jewelry
If you have jewelry made of pure jewelry, you need to know that silver is a lustrous and soft metal that is quite delicate. When it comes to pieces of jewelry made of pure silver, you will need to be extra careful and gentle with the silver pieces.
And we recommend cleaning the soft silver pieces using a mix of warm water and some mild dishwashing soap. You could use the bamboo baby soap instead of the dishwashing soap to be extra careful. To do this, follow these steps for cleaning the pieces of pure silver jewelry:
In a small bowl, add some drops of the liquid soap into the bowl with some warm water. Mix this until you have bubbles, and then put in the silver jewelry to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Next, using a soft-bristled brush or toothpaste, clean the piece, focusing on the crevices and other small detailed areas.
Once done, rinse your jewelry in clean, warm water. And if you are cleaning the jewelry in the sink, make sure that the sink is plugged in to prevent losing the photos.
Next, dry the silver pieces in a lint-free microfiber cloth. You could also use the silver cloth to dry it and to remove any remaining tarnish.
When drying it, make sure to do that along the grains and not against to avoid small scratches that would look like scuff marks. You should also avoid paper towels because they would also scratch the silver pieces.
Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry
Now that you know how to clean your precious silver pieces let’s take a look at the methods for effectively cleaning your sterling silver jewelry.
But before we do, it’s worth noting that the sterling silver pieces are made of 92.5% pure silver and only 7.5% copper, hence sterling silver.
While pure silver gets tarnished when exposed to sulfur in the air or hydrogen sulfide, the main culprit and the reason for the tarnishing of sterling silver is copper.
So, when cleaning the jewelry, your focus will be on tarnish removal and also cleaning out dirt and grime that affect the shine of the sterling silver pieces of jewelry.
Here are some of the home remedies that would work great in cleaning the sterling silver necklaces.
1.Cleaning the sterling silver pieces using baking soda
Baking soda is literally the holy grail when it comes to cleaning, and it is the ideal cleaning solution for pretty much most, if not all, of your cleaning solutions. This is because of the abrasiveness of baking soda and the fact that it works great.
To clean your sterling silver necklace using baking soda, first make a baking soda paste by mixing two parts of baking soda with one part of water. Now, take the paste, then rub it on the necklace, and allow the baking soda paste to dry out complement and to effectively get rid of the layer of tarnish.
Once you’re sure that the necklace is properly cleaned, you should rinse off the baking soda paste using clean, warm, or cold water, then pat-dry it using a piece of microfiber cloth/ towel or any other piece of a soft cloth.
2.Baking Soda and Vinegar Mix
This is the other highly effective cleaning method for sterling silver necklaces, especially if the necklace is heavily tarnished.
In this method, you’d have to mix half a cup of vinegar with 2 tablespoonfuls baking soda.
Mixing these two will create some kind of reaction. Put in the sterling silver necklace, let it sit for 2 or 3 hours, then rinse it thoroughly. Pat dry it using a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth, and then polish it gently in the direction of the grains to avoid scratches.
3.Cleaning sterling silver necklace using toothpaste
Toothpaste has also been proven to be an effective method/ remedy for cleaning pieces of sterling silver jewelry.
But with this method, you will need white, baking-soda-based toothpaste. Avoid the gel toothpastes or the tartar control and the tooth whitening toothpastes.
Once you have the toothpaste, dip the necklace in water, then apply toothpaste on the sterling silver necklace generously, and make sure that all the sections of the necklace are covered in toothpaste.
The let the toothpaste sit for about 30 or so minutes, then use a soft-bristled brush to get rid of the layer of tarnish, especially if it is heavily tarnished.
When done, rinse the necklace in warm water in a bowl or running water under the sink, and then pat it dry before you store it.
4.Clean your sterling silver necklace using an olive oil and lemon juice mix
This is the other sterling silver cleaning method that some people swear by. To get started, you will need half a cup of lemon juice and a teaspoon of olive oil. Mix these two in a small bowl.
Then take a clean, lint-free piece of cloth and dip it in this solution, then use the cloth to rub on the sterling silver necklace for some time until you see that the original shine of the necklace is restored. Once you’re satisfied, rinse the necklace and pat it dry, then polish it before storing the necklace.
5.Aluminum foil, baking soda, salt, and boiling water
This is the other effective method for cleaning your sterling silver necklace, and it will work perfectly well, especially if the necklace is tarnished heavily. It’s also the perfect solution if the above methods do not work.
In this method, you’ll need some aluminum foil lining the kitchen sink or a roasting glass pan. Make sure that the dull side of the foil is face down.
Next, put the jewelry on the aluminum foil and then pour some hot boiling water over the necklace until the water fully covers the necklace. Add two tablespoons of baking soda and salt to the mixture and then stir the mixture.
You will notice bubbling, don’t be alarmed, it is expected, and it shows that the products are working. The granules used will help get rid of the tarnish and dirt. The tarnish will be transferred to the aluminum foil. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Using rubber gloves, gently brush the necklace using a soft-bristled brush if you notice that some of the tarnish is still there. Next, drain the cleaning solution.
You could use a colander to keep the necklaces from going down the drain and then rinse the necklace in clean, warm water, before you dry the necklace using a soft, lint-free cloth.
That said, the solution from this method will result in a really bad smell – as bad as the smell of rotten eggs. It works well, though.
In addition to knowing what materials to use to clean the sterling silver necklaces, here are the other tips you need to consider when cleaning your sterling silver necklace.
- Understand the sterling silver types
While 925 sterling silver is the most common type of sterling silver, there are other variations of this metal, for example, the 950 sterling silver, which has 95% pure sterling silver and just 5% copper, hence a softer version of sterling silver that requires more care.
But the type of sterling silver notwithstanding, these kinds of jewelry will tarnish, hence the need for proper cleaning.
- Wear your sterling silver necklaces
Although sterling silver necklaces will always rust, regardless of how well you care for them, the necklace will always tarnish. Wearing the necklace often will slow down the rate of tarnishing with the skin oils helping to keep the jewelry clean and brilliant.
- Limiting corrosion
While doing the best to protect the jewelry, you also need to reduce exposure to corrosive elements like household chemicals, hairsprays, lotions, perfumes, direct sunlight, rubber, chlorinated water, and other substances that have sulfur in them.
Cleaning sterling silver necklaces can be challenging, but it’s possible thanks to the methods listed above.
In most cases, simple home cleaning solutions will work great with sterling silver necklaces, and if you need additional help, you could use baking soda or baking soda to clean the necklaces.
That said, wearing your sterling silver necklace regularly will help retain its level of sparkle so, don’t put it away for long because you are afraid it will rust!
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.