Cleaning silver jewelry

Silver jewelry is a precious investment and possesion, and as such should be taken care of. This article is about cleaning your silver jewelry. There are several different methods, some easier than others. While many kinds of silver jewelry are quickly cleaned and polished, some types, such as filigree jewelry, can take some extra patience due their intricate designs. 

First of all, you should note that different methods are best suited for different types of sterling silverware. If your sterling silver filigree jewelry has some sort of carvings or etchings on it, it is best to just clean it and buff it with a piece of closh and silver polishing cream.


Method 1 - Brush and soap

  • Use a soft brush to remove any loose dirt from the item’s recesses. 
  • Put the filigree item in some lukewarm water mixed with a little bit of mild detergent (like hand dishwashing soap).
  • After a few minutes,  the piece and softly brush it again.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Dry and buff with a clean, soft cloth.


Method 2 - Brush and cream

After removing dirt with a soft brush, do the following:

  • Acquire a silver cream cleaner. Be sure that it is formulated for silver, not for another metal, since this can damage the silver.
  • Using a soft brush, take some cream and slowly work it into the filigree piece.
  • Clean and polish slowly and carefully using a soft cloth.
  • You can rinse the filigree jewelry piece in warm water (not soak), after you are done with the previous steps. Always remember to dry the piece afterwards.


Method 3 - Aluminium and Baking Soda

  • Take a little bit of aluminium foil - 1 little schrunched ball of foil is enough - and put it with the silver filigree at the bottom of a bowl (Best if glass/aluminium/stainless steel). 
  • Add about 4-6cm of boiling water on top.
  • Add one spoonful of baking soda, and 1 spoon of salt, and mix until dissolved.
  • Keep the water boiling for about 2 to 3 minutes, then remove and rinse the silver.
  • Finally, buff the silver with a dry, clean cloth.


Method 4 - Toothpaste

  • Coat the filigree jewelry piece with toothpaste.
  • Brush the toothpaste with a wet brush into a foam.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Dry and buff with a soft, clean cloth.


Quick method - Buffing

If you really need to clean a filigree item quickly, just buff it with a soft, clean cloth. For more speed, you can also use a specially treated buffing cloth for silver, which you  can buy. 



Always make sure that your jewelry is completely dry before storing it.

Never use abrasives or rough materials to clean your jewelry. These will damage the surface considerably.

Always be extra careful when brushing and drying intricate jewelry - make sure the cloth or brush do not get caught in detail or wirework.If using gloves, avoid rubber. Rubber tarnishes and damages sterling silver, so it is no good for handling or cleaning silver filigree jewelry. Use cotton or plastic gloves instead.

There are other ways of cleaning silver jewelry, but the inherent risks are too high if you are not careful. If you really want to clean up your jewelry professionally, it is worth taking it to a professional jewellery who will have better means of cleaning your silver filigree jewelry and bringin back its former glory. You will only need professional services if you have really mistreated your jewelry or have not cleaned it for years.


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