We all have Silver Items and Jewelry at our home but we neglect to take care of them, thinking the process will be complicated or expensive. They get tarnished/blackened when not taken care of or if they are not stored properly. But with the methods given below you can easily clean them at home without any fuss. So let’s roll-up our sleeves and start working to bring your precious silverware back to its former shining glory!!
There are many methods and home remedies for cleaning silver when searched on the internet. But how do you know which method works the best? After a lot of research, we shortlisted a few techniques that works the best for cleaning Silver Articles. And you can usually find almost all the ingredients at home.
- Dish Soap and Water
- Tooth Powder (White one only)
- Silver Polish
Tips and Caution:
- These methods are only to be used for Pure Silver and Sterling Silver Items. (Do not use them for Silver Plated Items)
- It’s better to do a spot-test on a small inconspicuous portion of the Silver Item before cleaning the entire article using the methods given below.
- Silver Items with precious stones in it are to be cleaned with caution. The stones may get damaged by some chemicals.
- Buff with circular motions to polish the Silver.
- Always dry your silver with soft lint – free cloth. Never let it air dry, as it will leave spots of water drops.
1. Dish Soap and Water
Now this is something you will surely find in every home. Mild dish soap will work well in cleaning your silver. Never use abrasive scrubber or scrub the silver hard. The Silver may get scratched. Avoid using lemony dish soap, any acidic soap or any harsh detergent. It is not good for your silver.
DO NOT PUT YOUR SILVERWARE IN A DISHWASHER. The heat and the harsh chemical may actually damage them. Always hand wash them with care.
- Dip a soft cloth in a mixture of dish soap and warm water.
- Now rub this soapy cloth on the piece of silver you want to clean.
- Rinse it with cold water.
- Dry it with clean towel and buff it with a soft lint-free cloth.
2. Tooth Powder
Yes, you can use the same thing to clean your silver that you use to clean your pearly white teeth. Make sure your toothpowder is not coarse or it will scratch your silver item. Use fine soft tooth powder.
- Sprinkle a small amount of tooth powder on a microfiber cloth. (Use white tooth powder only)
- Gently rub this cloth on the Silver Item till the tarnish is removed.
- Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean towel.
- Buff it with a soft lint-free cloth.
- For designs and crevices you can use a brush to clean your silver (Brush with soft bristles is recommended so that the silver doesn’t get scratched)
3. Silver Polish
While these home remedies can give a shine to your Silver, you can also use commercial silver polishing products for incredible results. You may not find it in every home. But it is easily available in the market, jewelry shops or online. These products are great and give fantastic results. Silver polish basically strips a layer of the silver leaving you with a fresh new surface of silver. So it’s better to use these products sparingly, only to clean deeply tarnished Silver Items. Every Silver Polish product comes with their own instructions on how to use them. Pure Silver, Sterling Silver, Antique Silver and Silver Plated Silver all have their own special polishing products. Make sure you are using the right product for the type of silver you want to clean. Always read the instructions carefully given on the polishing product and follow them properly.
The internet is full of home remedies for cleaning Silver articles. The weirdest one that we saw was using Tomato Ketchup.
Yeah, you heard that right. Haha! Ketchup and Silver??
We are not sure about it as we have not tried it. We however won’t advice you to try.
We are sure these methods will be able to return the sparkle on your silverware. If you are not interested in polishing silver yourself or you have no time in your busy schedule for silver polishing, you can get your silver polished professionally. Almost all silver jewellers are happy to polish them for you.
Silver is a very soft, gentle metal and gets scratched easily. Using harsh and acidic methods on them may actually damage them. It’s best to ask a silver jeweller or a professional silver cleaner about genuine ways to clean them at home.
Apart from cleaning, it’s important to store them properly so that they don’t get tarnished easily. Proper storage minimizes the silver’s exposure to tarnishing agents like hydrogen sulphide in the air. Let’s see how to store your Silver properly, so as to avoid tarnishing.
How to Store Silver to Avoid Tarnishing
First of all there is no fool-proof plan to protect your Silver articles from turning black because silver reacts with so many materials found in our everyday life. The best you can do is storing it properly so as to minimize its tarnishing.
The main objective is to prevent your silver from any exposure to Air, Humidity and Heat. In order to do that you have to store it the right way.
Things that you will require for storing your Silver properly are:
- Anti–tarnish Cloth/Flannel Pouch ( Or Acid–free Tissue Paper): These Anti-tarnish Cloth/Pouches are specially treated with chemicals to minimize the process of tarnishing of silver.
- Ziploc Bag (Or any Airtight Plastic Bag): These bags are airtight and prevent the Silver from any contact with air.
- Anti-tarnish Strip (Or Silica Gel Bag) (Or Pieces of Chalk): These Strips are specially made to absorb the tarnishing agents present in the air around us.
- Wrap your Silver Item in an Anti-tarnish Cloth/Flannel Pouch. (Or Acid-free Tissue Paper)
- Put it in a Ziploc Bag. (Or in an Airtight Plastic Bag)
- Add an Anti-tarnish Strip (Or Silica Gel Bag) (Or Pieces of Chalk) in the bag before sealing it shut.
- Keep the bag in a cool dry place.
If you store your Silver Items carefully and in a proper way, you can avoid frequent tarnishing of the silver.
This in turn will save you from the time consuming labour of cleaning them over and over again. Frequent cleaning or polishing of silver ultimately damages its lustre and shine. So it’s better to avoid tarnishing as much as possible.
Do’s and Don’ts of using Silver Items.
- Keep your Silver dry. Protect it from moisture as much as possible.
- If it gets wet, dry it off immediately with a soft cloth.
- Always clean your Silver with warm water after using it. Dry it off with a soft cloth.
- Always put on your Silver jewellery only after applying makeup and perfume, as these things accelerate tarnishing.
- Clean your Silver Jewellery after wearing it as the sweat and oils from our body speed up tarnishing.
- Store your Silver correctly.
- Don’t wear your Silver Jewellery while washing up or taking a bath.
- Don’t wrap your Silver in newspaper as the ink on the newspaper is acidic and may speed up tarnishing.
- Don’t use rubber bands on your Silverware as it contains sulphur and may tarnish your Silver.
- Don’t store your Silver in cardboard boxes as they retain moisture and may further increase tarnishing.
- Don’t keep all your Silver in a single bag/pouch as they will bump into each other and get scratched or dented. Pack each item separately.
So just follow these simple rules while using and storing Silver and you may keep your Silver shiny for longer period of time. It will minimize the need to polish them frequently. Thankfully tarnishing doesn’t actually damage the Silver. It just creates a coat of corrosion over its surface which can easily be cleaned with the methods given above.
Blog written by – Jyoti Agrawal