11.24.2009

How To : Remove tarnish from your silver jewelry, with chemical free, eco-friendly kitchen ingredients.

Tarnished silver jewelry. FIX IT! How? Grab a few kitchen ingredients and you are on your way to shiny and new looking silver!
Sterling silver is mostly pure, but it also has other metals in it. It is usually stamped with the .925 symbol indicating sterling. This means that it is .925% silver, and .075% something else, another metal. Basically, when silver comes in contact with the elements it can tarnish (oxidize) and turn a myriad of colors. For example, when I go to the beach for a length of days, I notice my silver gets raggedy looking sooner than when I am in my dry home. Keeping your metals in a ziplock baggie will prevent the elements from doing this for a little longer as well. Jewelers also offer special bags or even acid free tissue to store your goodies in. If you notice, some of your silver will tarnish at different rates as well, but theres no way for us regular ol' people to know what that extra metal in our silver is. So when you Do happen across a tarnish-happy item, this is a great way to solve it in an eco-friendly way.

Here's a great way to make a chemical free potion that will instantly ZAP the tarnish off your silver. I love this method because my polishing cloth cant reach into the crevaces of chain links, and this can.

What you need:
boiled water
ceramic or glass bowl (not metal)

aluminum foil (a few inches, not that much)

baking soda



1.First, boil a few cups of water.

2.Prepare your bowl. Put the foil into the bottom of the bowl, in a little square, just so you can lay your jewelry on top of it.

3. Put a few teaspoons of baking soda onto the foil. I don't measure, and probably use waaay too much. The ratios here have never affected my outcome.
(see how brown, reddish the chain is? yuk!)

4. Put your jewelry on top of the baking soda (or near it as you can see in the photo).

5. Pour the hot water over the whole thang.

(under steaming hot water)

6. KABLAM! Instant, and I mean, INSTANTLY the silver should look silver again.

The tarnish should disappear. If its still a little discolored, you can wiggle the bowl a little to work it in. Dont rub the baking soda on your items though since it can scratch it if its not dissolved.

7. Wash your jewelry with clean water. The baking soda leaves it a little slimy.

(drying on a paper towel)

DONE!


note: dont try this on metals you are unsure of. dont try this if there are components you are unsure of i.e. wood, stones, etc. okay, just had to say that. i bet if you google this, someone else will answer all the q's I havent answered here.

edit/addition:
Look at this AWESOME comment I received about this post!

Blogger Lisa B said...

Thanks to you, I've now cleaned 22 necklaces, 6 bracelets and 10 pairs of earrings this evening. Who knew a few simple ingredients would clean some of the items that have been making me crazy trying to detarnish? You're a genius. Or at least a good passer-alonger. ;)
HURRAH! Thanks LisaB

4 comments:

Lisa B said...

Thanks to you, I've now cleaned 22 necklaces, 6 bracelets and 10 pairs of earrings this evening. Who knew a few simple ingredients would clean some of the items that have been making me crazy trying to detarnish? You're a genius. Or at least a good passer-alonger. ;)

shopPOPKO said...

fantastic! thanks for letting me know.

Lisa at Lil Fish Studios said...

This is terrific! I'm going to have to try this out.

Anonymous said...

Just fixed one of my oldest most favorite sterling silver ring!!! Thank you it was handed down to me from my mother and haven't been able to wear it in years!!!! U rock!