How to Clean Silver Jewellery, Tarnished Silver and Silverware

How to Clean Silver Jewellery, Tarnished Silver and Silverware

If you Google ‘silver cleaning products’, you’ll find cleaning remedies from toothpaste, to baking soda and water, to vinegar and aluminium foil!

So what works best? Probably the most important thing to understand with cleaning any type of silver is that most of these DIY remedies rely on the chemical process of ion exchange. Using an aluminium pan, or one lined with aluminium foil, and filling it with hot water and adding salt and baking soda is most commonly recommended as an environmentally friendly alternative to store bought products. This is because aluminium reacts with the tarnish on silver.

However, if your silver is antique or precious to you, we recommend looking for a trusted silver cleaner brand to use instead.

How to clean silver jewellery and utensils

It’s a good idea to wash your silver jewellery and cutlery regularly, especially after use, to prevent it becoming tarnished. You can use regular dishwashing liquid but it’s best to avoid a brand with a lemon component as this can leave undesirable marks. Simply place the item in soapy water and gently wash with a soft cloth then dry to bring out the lustre.

How to clean tarnished silver

If your silver is already tarnished black, then your safest bet is to use a shop bought silver cleaning product and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Unfortunately, soapy water won’t remove the tarnish.

Alternatively, if you are environmentally conscious, then you can try one of the popular DIY remedies espoused by people like Martha Stewart. Or have a look in your local supermarket for environmentally friendly silver cleaning products.

Silver cleaning Tips

  • Avoid wearing rubber gloves when cleaning silver as rubber corrodes silver.
  • All silver should be washed by hand rather than placed in the dishwasher. If you have to use the dishwasher, then make sure you use a non-corrosive product.
  • Correct storage of your silverware will help preserve its condition. First make sure it is completely dry, then wrap each piece separately in a soft cloth and place it in an airtight plastic bag.

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