Silver-plated jewelry serves as the sparkling statement that is more affordable and effortless to carry than platinum and gold jewels. That’s why you have seen people around, wearing silver-plated jewelry to add some easy-to-wear dazzling vibe to their everyday outfits, quite often.
Usually, your regular, as well as occasionally go-to silver jewelry, doesn’t tarnish real quickly. But carrying it improperly can make lose its lustrous shine. So, let’s delve into how you can restore your silver jewelry shine by using do-it-yourself methods to remove jewelry tarnishing and dirt.
Why silver jewelry tarnishes?
Actually, improper care and rough use can impact the lustrous shine of your charming silver-plated jewelry and makes it tarnished. When you frequently expose your silver jewelry to any kinda moisture, excessive heat or air, and dust, it leads to oxidization that dulls the silver plating slowly and gradually. The result? Lackluster and darkened jewels.
As a matter of fact, most of the jewelry that you come across every day is silver-plated or sterling silver. Unlike pure silver(which is rare), your silver-plated jewelry requires special care because it’s just a thin silver layer coated over metal, not the metal itself. With that said, when your silver-plated jewelry comes in contact with water, perfumes, sweat, makeup, lotions, or other chemicals, this thing dulls the plated shine, exposing the underneath metal.
However, with the help of some household items and cleaning tips, you can bring your silver jewelry shine back, through timely and properly cleaning.
Read More: How Can You Mix Gold And Silver Jewelry?
How you can clean your silver-plated jewelry?
There are a number of different ways that you can use to clean your silver-plated jewelry at home. Wanna know some of them? We got you covered.
Usually, there are two basic ways to get rid of the tarnish and restore silver-plated or sterling silver jewelry shine. These methods include Light jewelry cleaning and Deep jewelry cleaning.
So, let’s find out how to clean silver-plated jewelry through DIY methods.
Do It Yourself Tips for cleaning silver-plated jewelry
1. Use Soap and Water Solution for Light Cleaning
If you find your jewelry starts losing its shine, just a start we better say, it hints that the jewelry requires a light cleaning to get back into its original condition. Follow the given method to restore your silver-plated jewelry luster.
- Add some drops of liquid soap (can be a mild dishwashing soap or a baby shampoo) in warm water in a bowl. Mix the solution well, until the liquid soap gets fully dissolved and bubbles appear.
- Soak the silver-plated jewelry in the solution for some time.
- Right after 5-10 minutes, take the jewelry out of the solution.
- Use a soft cloth to gently wipe the jewelry from its surface.
- Rinse your jewelry in warm water again and wipe it off thoroughly with a lint-free cloth.
Note: Avoid using paper towels not to have any scratches. In case of any elaborate engravings, you can also use a soft toothbrush to clean the smallest details of your jewelry. Make sure your jewelry is properly dried before storing it in the collection.
Tip: This method can also be used to clean gold jewelry, silver jewelry with diamonds, and other gemstones like Moonstone. It’s recommended that you first talk to the professionals about safe cleaning.
2. Use a Soft Polishing Cloth for Light Cleaning
If your jewelry needs a bit of tender loving care, then a soft polishing cloth is quite promising to get back its shimmery sparkle.
- Make sure you always select good-quality pieces of cloth to remove the jewelry tarnish and dirt.
- Rub your jewelry pieces gently instead of scrubbing them.
- You can also remove body oils, pollutants, and other chemicals, by giving your silver-plated jewelry a quick polish.
- Enjoy and keep up your jewelry shine.
3. Use Gentle Brushing & Toothpaste for Light Cleaning
It’s another quick household tip to remove tarnish and dirt from silver jewelry (not the silver-plated one).
- Use a soft-bristle brush and toothpaste to wipe off the dirt.
- Put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush and lightly brush the silver jewelry surface.
- Avoid whitening formula toothpaste.
- Avoid hard bristle brushes.
- Avoid scrubbing.
PS: This method is not recommended for cleaning silver-plated jewelry.
4. Use Baking Soda and Water for Light Cleaning
Sterling silver jewelry is a combination of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals, most likely Copper, which makes it more expensive and durable. So, if it’s sterling silver jewelry, here are some light cleaning tips that should be your trick to remove the tarnish.
- Make a paste containing 2 parts of baking soda and 1 part of water.
- Apply the paste onto your sterling silver jewelry.
- Rub the mixture gently.
- Leave the paste and let it completely dry.
- At last, by using a soft cloth or a microfiber towel, rinse your jewelry and dry.
5. Use Baking Soda with Aluminum foil for Deep Cleaning
If your silver-plated jewelry is heavily tarnished, then this procedure is ideal. Silver sulfide, which is formed when sulfur atoms mix with silver, causes silver-plated jewelry to tarnish. To make the pieces glitter, this cleaning process employs aluminum foil to draw sulfur atoms away from the silver. It restores the brilliance of your silver-plated jewelry by permitting the tarnish-causing chemicals to simply reverse themselves. Check out how.
- Make sure you keep the foil’s shiny surface upwards when you place an aluminum foil inside the glass bowl.
- Add an equal amount of salt and baking soda (one tablespoon) to the bowl.
- Pour hot water into the bowl, enough to dissolve the powder and fully soak in the jewelry.
- Now, leave your silver-plated jewelry in the solution for up to 5 minutes.
Note: You can add more water if you see that the jewelry is not fully submerged.
- Keep sight of the solution. You’ll see yellow and black flakes floating away you’re your jewels. That is what we call sulfur, causing the oxidation of silver jewelry.
- Next, take the jewelry out of the solution when you find tarnish is completely removed.
- Use a soft cloth to gently rub it.
- Rinse the jewelry in warm running water again and let it dry by rubbing with a lint-free cloth.
How you can store your silver-plated jewelry?
After perfectly cleaning your jewelry, make sure you dry it properly and thoroughly before storing it. If your jewelry isn’t properly dried, then the air and moist can cause the silver to tarnish again.
Next, always store your jewelry in a cool and dry place. For this, a jewelry box is the perfect storage place to keep your silver-plated jewelry safe, tangle-free, and shiny. You can also choose the following given options to store your jewels in
- A tight airbag, for example, a plastic zip-lock bag. It will not let your jewelry interact with air and moisture.
- Anti-tarnish paper to wrap or coat your jewelry with.
- Small but separate jewelry boxes to individually store earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, rings, and bangles, for making it tangle-free.
Note: You can also add a charcoal or chalk piece inside the box or bag. This trick helps in avoiding moisture.
How to prevent silver-plated jewelry from tarnishing?
It is impossible to protect your silver-plated jewelry from the air, moisture, and dirt completely. All you can do is limit your jewelry exposure- a key for having anti-tarnish silver jewelry for long. Here are some basic prevention tips that you can follow to avoid oxidization.
- Detergents, bleach, and chlorine are harsh chemicals that can damage your jewelry quickly, long before it is expected to. So, avoid exposing your silver-plated jewelry to such chemicals.
- Take off your jewelry before applying lotion on your skin and spraying perfumes.
- Wear off your jewelry before you go swimming or taking shower. Chlorinated water isn’t even okay for your silver jewelry shine.
- Remove your jewelry while doing home chores like washing clothes or dishes.
- Take off your jewelry when you decide to oil your body because it can lead to tarnishing.
- Don’t scrub your jewelry at all. It can damage the plating.
- Make sure you always use a soft cloth to wipe your jewelry off.
- For cleaning purposes, choose a smooth gel toothpaste instead of the whitening one.
- If it’s your permanently-worn jewelry piece, clean it on daily basis to maintain its sparkling look.
- Take the help of professionals for enjoying the best results.
How to find if it’s silver-plated or sterling silver jewelry?
Sterling silver jewelry has got markings like 925/1000, Sterling 9.25, Sterling, 9.25 or S/S engraved on it. If you don’t find any of such trademarks on your jewelry, then it’s most likely and probably be the silver-plated one.