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How to clean silver so it shines?

You want to wear your favorite jewelry 24 hours a day and not take it off, but silver items begin to darken over time. This can occur under the influence of soap, skin care products, or simply high humidity. Cleaning silver jewelry at home will save your favorite rings and bracelets and return them to their original appearance. The procedure does not take much time, and the number of options is extensive. Liquid for cleaning silver can be bought in a store, or prepared from improvised means. Some of them are already in your home, while others will have to run to the store. Professional cleaning products cost money, but at the same time they guarantee almost 100% results. After this, you just need to take care of the jewelry, preventing history from repeating itself. To remove blackness from 925 silver, you don’t have to go to a jewelry store; you can use soda, ammonia, peroxide, vinegar and similar products. Citric acid, toothpaste and even Coca-Cola will help clean a silver chain, bracelet, ring or cross!

Cleaning with foil and baking soda

You can clean silver using baking soda and foil in a few minutes. This recipe is considered one of the fastest and most effective. First of all, you need to boil water, add soda to it (50 g/1 liter of water). After boiling, pour the solution over the darkened decoration. Due to the chemical reaction of silver sulfide with soda and aluminum, the blackness will disappear in a couple of minutes. After this, all you have to do is wipe the jewelry dry. This is the most effective silver cleaner. It is important to remember that you should never use dry soda, it will only ruin the metal.


Another way to restore your jewelry to its former shine is to wash the silver with a solution of ammonia and water. Ammonia is considered an excellent solvent; it will help to better clean silver from plaque or dirt without damaging the product itself. Pour water into a small container, add ammonia in a ratio of 1 to 10, put in the decorations and leave them for 30 minutes. If after half an hour it was not possible to return the shine to silver, you need to keep it longer in the solution. After the procedure, all that remains is to wipe the rings, chains or bracelet dry. Cleaning silver with ammonia at home is very simple and quick.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide also cleans silver well, but its use can lead to unexpected results. The fact is that the substance can both oxidize and reduce compounds. In one case, when using peroxide, you will get a brightened product, in another – jewelry with plaque or stains. It all depends on the amount of impurities in the silver product. You can clean silver from blackness using peroxide with the addition of ammonia, but even in this case you need to act with extreme caution. It would be best to test the product on a small area of ​​the product; if it becomes lighter, the procedure can be continued.


If you soak tarnished silver items in vinegar, you are unlikely to achieve a good result. 6% vinegar should be preheated, but you are unlikely to like the smell. If you decide to wash old silver that has turned black, yellowed or oxidized using this folk method, bring the liquid to a temperature of 50 degrees. You can whiten silverware in 15-20 minutes. After the procedure, all items should be thoroughly rinsed and wiped with a dry cloth.

Lemon acid

Citric acid will help to effectively clean silver. It is diluted with water in a ratio of 100g/0,5l of water. You need to boil the jewelry in this solution for half an hour, and then rinse it thoroughly with water.


Someone manages to clean silver with tooth powder. This is not the worst way, but it is very time-consuming. You will have to lighten the jewelry manually, armed with a brush. Toothpaste for cleaning silver is suitable if there are no more effective products at hand. The advantage of this method is that it allows you to very quickly remove dirt and plaque from small items.

Coca Cola

Cleaning silver with Coca-Cola is one of the most exotic and radical methods. The drink is considered a good solvent and absorbent. You need to boil the cola and boil the contaminated products in it for 5-7 minutes. You can simply throw the jewelry into a glass of cold cola and leave it for a few hours, this method should also work. After this, the silver must be washed with water and wiped.

Paste GOI

You can clean silver with GOI paste, but remember that this is a very troublesome and dangerous method. This is a special product for polishing silver jewelry; it can be purchased in specialized stores. GOI paste is applied to a piece of cloth moistened with gasoline (this is done so as not to scratch the surface of the product). Silver is processed very carefully and patiently. It takes a lot of time, but the result is worth the effort.

How to clean silver with stones

You can clean silver rings with stones in a jewelry store or at home. You should focus on the density of the stones. Aquamarine, emerald and sapphire can be cleaned with washing powder; laundry soap will help remove grease and dirt from malachite, moonstone, opal and turquoise. Silver earrings with ruby ​​or garnet stones should not be immersed in hot water. It is important to clean jewelry with inserts very carefully and carefully: do not damage the insert itself or loosen the fastenings. Products containing amber, coral or pearls should be washed with lukewarm water and soap. Aggressive cleaning agents can destroy the structure of the stone.

How to clean rhodium plated silver

Rhodium is a noble platinum group metal that is sometimes used to coat silver jewelry, giving it shine and durability. You can clean rhodium-plated silver at home with special liquids for cleaning jewelry, napkins or a velvet rag soaked in warm water. A bath of soapy water helps remove stains from rhodium-plated silver; the jewelry is immersed in water for a few minutes. Some people prefer to wipe such products with cotton swabs soaked in glycerin. If all of the above methods do not help, it is better to take the jewelry to a jewelry workshop. Specialists will restore the rhodium-plated coating using the galvanic method.

Cleaning blackened silver at home

Blackened silver is rarely found in jewelry stores, but it is plentiful at flea markets and in grandma’s chests. A touch of antiquity will give the product nobility, but a touch of dirt and dust – not so much. You can clean black silver with soda and salt and a cleaning agent, a regular school eraser, or ammonia with crushed chalk. There is no guarantee that the product will regain its original shine, but it will look much fresher and cleaner.

How to clean gold plated silver

You can clean gold-plated silver at home using the same means as usual. Most often, soap solution, hydrogen peroxide, soda, ammonia, toothpaste and even sugar are used for these purposes.

Jeweler’s tips for cleaning silver

You can properly clean tarnished silver at home without difficulty if the jewelry is not inlaid with stones or other inserts. An incorrectly selected cleaning agent can destroy the structure of the stone and damage the fastenings. You can rub the silver so that it shines like new with a velvet cloth or special napkins, usually sold in jewelry workshops. There, the master will help restore the appearance of silver jewelry, if this cannot be done on your own. With the help of special equipment and clean products, this will take no more than an hour. Polishing silver items is not difficult, but it will be pointless if you do not take care of the jewelry in the future.

How to care for silver

Silver is loved for its nobility at an affordable price. Products made from this metal can serve their owner for many years, but caring for silver jewelry requires care and patience. Silver is most often subject to deformation due to its softness; it becomes covered with scratches, can bend and turn black. To prevent silver from tarnishing, it should be cleaned regularly. You can do this on your own and with improvised means that are present in every person’s household, or you can take it to a master. The latter option costs money, but you will receive the jewelry back intact, like new. Surely you have heard how, in the recent past, servants did not like to clean their master’s silver. There was little pleasant: cutlery and candelabra were regularly dirty, professional chemicals did not exist. They used a paste of chalk and sparkling wine, birch lye or powder from crushed brick and ash, and then tedious polishing. [1] Those who watched the series “Downton Abbey” probably remember how strictly the butler Mr. Carson monitored the cleaning of the silver. Now there are simpler (and safer) techniques. RBC Life tells how to clean silver at home. Jeweler and gemologist Ilya Klyuev commented on tips for cleaning silver.

Why does silver darken?

  • high humidity;
  • frequent contact with clothing;
  • reaction with cosmetics, perfume or deodorant;
  • exposure to water;
  • the presence of impurities in the product.

It is the silver sulfide that needs to be removed to keep cutlery, rings, chains or earrings looking like new.

Still from the series “Downton Abbey”

Best Ways to Clean Silver

1. Soda and vinegar

This method is best suited for cleaning 925 sterling silver jewelry and cutlery. Do not use baking soda and vinegar on antiques.

  1. Place the silver items in a bowl.
  2. Pour white distilled vinegar over them.
  3. Add baking soda to the bowl: four tablespoons of baking soda for every cup of vinegar.
  4. Leave the silver in the mixture for an hour.
  5. Rinse well with water.
  6. Wipe the product with a soft cotton cloth.

Advice from the jeweler: It is not recommended to clean cutlery with baking soda alone. Abrasive particles may scratch the surface.

2. Toothpaste

The method is suitable for small silver items without small parts. For example, if you have a complex bracelet made of links, you should not clean it with toothpaste: it may remain on the product and will be difficult to remove.

  1. Use a non-gel and non-abrasive toothpaste. Squeeze a small amount onto a soft cloth or paper towel.
  2. Rub the items in a circular motion. Leave for five minutes. Repeat if necessary.
  3. Rinse off the toothpaste with water.

Advice from the jeweler: Toothpaste for cleaning silver is not a safe option. Additives and impurities in the composition can lead to an undesirable reaction with the metal.

3. Ammonia

Ammonia, or ammonia, is an excellent oxidizing agent that will cope with plaque on silver. Use separate containers for each type of product. Let’s say you shouldn’t clean items made from 876 and 925 samples together. This method is not suitable for jewelry with stones, especially pearls: ammonia can damage its delicate finish.

Precautionary measures: Do not use the container in which you cook food. After cleaning, pour the solution into the sink and rinse with plenty of warm water. Wear gloves and try not to breathe ammonia fumes. [3]

  1. Wear gloves. In a ceramic or stainless steel container, mix one part ammonia with six parts warm water.
  2. Soak the silver in the solution for 10–15 minutes.
  3. Remove the product and carefully brush off the black deposits with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  4. If there is any residue left on the silver, repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Polish the product with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  6. Rinse the silver in cold running water and dry.

Advice from the jeweler: If you use a sink for rinsing, cover the drain hole to prevent small decorations from falling down the drain.

4. Foil and soda

This method is suitable if you need to clean several items or large items, such as dishes or a candelabra.

  1. Line the bottom of a baking dish with aluminum foil. Do not use metal utensils to avoid chemical reactions. It is better to take a ceramic or glass form.
  2. Pour cold water into a container and add a spoonful of soda for every two liters.
  3. Bring water to a boil and add silver to it. The product will fall onto the foil. Hold it for about 15 seconds on each side.
  4. If the dirt on the metal is heavy, repeat the procedure.
  5. Take out the silver and let it cool.
  6. Polish the silver with a soft cloth.

Jeweler Tip: Cleaning with foil and baking soda is one of the most popular options. Complex and with many nuances, it does not guarantee an excellent result and is strictly contraindicated for silver with blackening and gilding. Do not use this recipe for silver jewelry with gemstones.

5. Hydrogen peroxide

An original way to clean silver from Gabriel & Co designer Berna Gabriel. [4]

  1. Mix window cleaner and hydrogen peroxide in a one-to-one ratio.
  2. Soak the silver in the mixture for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Go over the product with a soft toothbrush.
  4. Rinse in cold running water.
  5. Dry it.

Advice from the jeweler: Using hydrogen peroxide can cause unexpected and unpleasant results, such as darkening the surface of silver items and leaving a cloudy residue.

How to clean silver with stones

A good way to clean silver jewelry with stones is with dish soap or toothpaste and a microfiber cloth.

For severe stains, a more expensive method: mix half a glass of olive oil with one tablespoon of salt. Dip the silver into the mixture and polish with a microfiber cloth. [5]

Tips to avoid damaging the stone:

  • Use only soft brushes and cloth for cleaning. A hard brush will not do much damage to a hard diamond, but scratches may appear on cubic zirconia.
  • Do not rub the stones too hard, as this may cause them to lose their shine.
  • If the stone is glued, do not use harsh chemicals. Be especially careful with earrings or rings with pearls: glue is often used in such products.

How to Clean Silverware

Any of the methods described above can be used to clean silverware. However, experts advise cleaning such products with a special polish. The most affordable one costs about a thousand rubles. [6]

Using professional products will extend the life of silver products. In case of complex stains, you can turn to jewelers for help. Only proper care and care will help preserve the pristine beauty of silver for a long time. Cutlery will last for decades and then be inherited

Ilya Klyuev jeweler, gemologist, president of the CLUEV jewelry house

How to clean gold plated silver

It is best to clean with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and ammonia. For gold-plated products, the foil method is contraindicated. Do not use abrasive cleaners such as baking soda, because even the smallest grains of the substance will eventually remove the gold plating. [7]

How to care for silver

  • Silver items should be protected from strong shocks and temperature changes.
  • Remove silver jewelry before contact with water, such as when washing dishes or swimming.
  • Wash silverware only in warm water and a mild detergent. Once every two to three months, clean with a special silver care product. Use a soft, lint-free cloth for polishing.
  • Silver darkens when exposed to air, so the best place to store it is in a closed case lined with velvet.
  • Store silver separately from items made from other metals.
  • Silver items will remain shiny longer if you put a small piece of chalk in the box with them. It absorbs and retains moisture well. You can replace the chalk with a small bag of silica gel.

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