How to clean sterling silver jewellery?

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  1. profile image0
    Peelander Gallyposted 5 years ago

    You can get all kinds of inexpensive silver polish. Here's one:

    http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/earth- … 003b73ebf8

    1. galleryofgrace profile image79
      galleryofgraceposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      In the U.S. Jewelry is spelled "jewelry"!

      1. IzzyM profile image88
        IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Yes but the word is jewellery in British English as well as most other English speaking countries in the world.

        http://www.naroka.com/jewelry_news/Jewelry_vs_Jewellery

        This article is more or less correct, except for the typos and bad grammar.

  2. Robie Benve profile image97
    Robie Benveposted 5 years ago

    I've had some success using toothpaste.
    It takes the tarnish off the silver jewelry and gets the shine back. Plus it smells fresh. : )

  3. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image96
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 5 years ago

    I've also heard of using lipstick - the creamy texture acts as a gentle polish.  I always keep some of those silver cloths around for chains, etc. that need a touch-up or have gotten tarnished.

  4. Horatio Plot profile image80
    Horatio Plotposted 5 years ago

    You can make your own home cleaning dip for silver as follows. Crumple a piece of aluminium foil in a large container with some washing soda and pour boiling water over it. Be careful as some fumes may be given off but this is a normal electrochemical reaction so do not worry. Immerse the silver and leave until all the tarnish has been removed, then rinse and dry. The solution does not need to be strong - two tablespoons of washing soda to one gallon of water will do the trick.
    Another equally successful way is to use an aluminium pan, put some bicarbonate of soda or washing soda crystals in it, place the silver in the pan and cover with water. Bring the water up to boiling point but do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and leave the silver until the tarnish has all been removed, which will only take a minute of two. The solution should be two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda or half a teacup of washing soda crystals to 4 pints of water.

    1. Sally's Trove profile image78
      Sally's Troveposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      What is washing soda or washing soda crystals? I know what bicarb of soda is, but what are these other two?

      1. Horatio Plot profile image80
        Horatio Plotposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        We use washing soda crystals for lots of stuff in the UK. They are crystals of sodium carbonate. It is similar to bicarb of soda which is sodium bicarbonate. There is a small difference between the the two but I'm no chemist so I can't explain it exactly. Domestically it is used as a water softener and is also used to remove oil and wine stains. You can also use it as a drain cleaner.

        1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
          Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I'm from the UK and I've never heard of washing soda, bicarb, yes, but not washing soda.

          1. IzzyM profile image88
            IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            That soda stuff you get to clean the drains is washing soda I believe. Soda crystals.

            Edit : http://www.dri-pak.co.uk/soda-crystals. … JBkRcXtQ8o

            Do you know what is brilliant for cleaning drains? Bicarbonate of soda followed by a skoosh of vinegar. It explodes LOL - great fun smile

            1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
              Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Ah, remember soda crystals, a poor mans plumber (by a poor man I mean me. lol) Just found this:

              "bicarbonate of soda" is Sodium Hydroden Carbonate.
              "soda crystals" are Sodium Carbonate, IIRC.
              "caustic soda" is Sodium Hydroxide.

              Therefore, Horatio, saying that you can use bicarb in the same way as you can use soda crystals is like saying that water can be used in the same way as air.

              1. IzzyM profile image88
                IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                I don't know much about chemistry either, but I'm pretty sure the reason bicarb or washing soda is used to clean metals is because they are excellent conductors of electricity.

                Horatio mentioned putting silver foil in the dish with the water and that is something to do with creating an electric field allowing the electrons from the tarnish on the silver to transfer to the aluminium foil, so the two must be touching.

                Oh and the 'fumes given off' are highly poisonous hydrogen sulphide (sulfide in US English).

                I metal detect. I clean my coins in the tumbling machine mostly. I've never found a valuable coin so I just clean them up as I please.

                I found a 1917 half crown the other day - 14g of pure silver! lol It's worth more as silver than it is as a coin.

                1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
                  Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  I have a really old florin (think that's the correct spelling) my dad found it on his way to work, when he worked in Salford, years ago. You can barely see the imprint and it's quite large. I'd never sell it, even if it it was worth something. 'Twas my dad's pride and joy!

                  1. IzzyM profile image88
                    IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    Before the 2nd World War, silver coins contained real silver but in ever diminishing quantities because when a coin of the realm is worth more as scrap metal than their face value, people would melt them down instead of spending them.

                    From 1947, I think it was, all silver coins contained no silver at all.

                    I have found quite a few florins (2 bob bits). I found one on the beach the other day while two young lads were fishing.

                    They had never seen one before LOL

                    When I was young they were legal tender. Makes me feel really old!


                    http://s1.hubimg.com/u/7320568_f248.jpg

    2. ptosis profile image72
      ptosisposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      aluminium foil seems to be the trick with hot water and salt -make sure the silver doesn't touch the foil.

      1. IzzyM profile image88
        IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        The silver does need to be in contact with the aluminum. For silver sulphide to be reduced to silver, electrons must flow to it from the aluminum, and there needs to be metal-to-metal contact so the electrons can flow. Ions flow through the liquid, electrons flow through metal.

        http://www.finishing.com/145/02.shtml

        Just saying.

      2. That Grrl profile image80
        That Grrlposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        The silver does touch the foil. That's what makes it work.

    3. That Grrl profile image80
      That Grrlposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I cover the pan with the foil. Otherwise you're going to have all that tarnish to clean off your pan. Much simpler to have it on the foil paper and just toss it out.

  5. Hollie Thomas profile image61
    Hollie Thomasposted 5 years ago

    Yes, but which one, bicarb or soda crystals. They are different compounds.

    1. IzzyM profile image88
      IzzyMposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I love this line from the Minelab site -

      One of the main ingredients of A&H Super Washing Soda is sodium carbonate, which is two extra sodium molecules and a missing hydrogen molecule away from being sodium bicarbonate (better known as baking soda), except it’s too busy spending its time being soap.

      http://www.minelabowners.com/coincleaning.html

      1. Horatio Plot profile image80
        Horatio Plotposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Izzy. Lol, that's a very funny quote.
        Here's a video of a guy trying out your drain cleaning trick with baking soda (notice - not soda crystals) and vinegar. But he swallows it instead of pouring it down the drain.
        I would warn you not to watch it if you are offended by bad language or don't want to watch a man regurgitating a mouthful of frothing baking soda as the mixture explodes in his mouth. But it is funny...
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJCzxgII … ure=fvwrel

  6. Horatio Plot profile image80
    Horatio Plotposted 5 years ago

    Hi Hollie - The answer Hollie appears to be both!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRNAqh4-lF8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5Qnbn366G0
    So it seems you can breath underwater after all!

    1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
      Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Would you clean your teeth with soda crystals?

      1. Horatio Plot profile image80
        Horatio Plotposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Yes Hollie, I think I would. Obviously you would not use sodium carbonate in the form of large crystals, but both Sodium Carbonate and Sodium Bicarbonate are used in the manufacture of toothpaste.
        They also both clean silver.
        Take care.

        1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
          Hollie Thomasposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          You're a braver man than me. Now I have visions of large crystals on your toothbrush!

          1. Horatio Plot profile image80
            Horatio Plotposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            Ha! If it worked on gold, I could do the fillings and the teeth at the same time.

  7. kathleenkat profile image80
    kathleenkatposted 5 years ago

    I use the basic jewelry cleaning solution they sell at jewelers; works great!

  8. Tusitala Tom profile image67
    Tusitala Tomposted 5 years ago

    Same as for tarnished brass, I'd imagine.  Brasso, if you can buy some.  If not, Worchester Sauce is supposedly acidic enough to do the trick.   Dip the silver in and just give it a rub.

    1. Horatio Plot profile image80
      Horatio Plotposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      And a lick.

      1. That Grrl profile image80
        That Grrlposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        It would taste awful, like sulfur.

  9. That Grrl profile image80
    That Grrlposted 5 years ago

    I polish the silver at our house. For most of it I can use baking soda, boiling water and silver foil paper. It's really simple and works amazingly well.

 
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