Cleaning silver jewellery
This week I am talking jewellery cleaning with a focus on silver. This can make a massive difference to keeping your jewellery looking bright. I will share my favourite methods below, depending on the finish of your piece. If you would like more information about other metals, see my care notes.
You might notice that over time your silver pieces lose their lustre and start to darken. This is called tarnish, and is a natural reaction of the silver over time. The surface of the silver reacts with the air and moisture and oxidises. A good clean can bring these pieces back to a bright finish.
This is beneficial for all pieces. Submerge in warm soapy water and soak for a minute or two. You can use an old soft toothbrush to gently rub the piece to get rid of any really stubborn dirt accumulated in the little corners of your piece. Rinse and then air dry on a clean dry cloth. This may be all that your piece needs, but for tarnished pieces follow the next step.
Next I recommend different cleaning methods depending on the finish of your piece.
For pieces with a high polish, you can either use silver dip, or a silver polishing cloth to gently buff your piece back to a high shine.
Matt finish Silver
To maintain the matt finish, you want to avoid using a polishing cloth as this will buff the surface to a high shine. My favourite way to clean matt silver is using silver dip. Quick and easy, a simple 2 minutes submerged will bring pieces back to a silvery gleam. Rinse in soapy water and allow to air dry. You can find silver dip in larger stores, or your local jewellers/hardware store. For a simple eco alternative using baking soda and salt, see my method here.
Oxidised silver has been chemically treated to blacken it completely. The good news is that oxidised pieces require very little care. However pieces that recieve heavy wear like rings or pendants will tend to shine up over time. If you would like to restore your piece to an inky black, get in touch with the jeweller who can arrange to re-finish the piece.
I offer a professional re-finishing service on all of my pieces. I can give a quote depending on the piece, email: firstname.lastname@example.org with an image and a description and I will get back to you.