If you own any sterling silver jewelry pieces, it’s probably pretty important to you that they stay in good shape and don’t start turning dark or turn black from being dirty or oxidized. To help prevent this from happening and keep your sterling silver jewelry looking its best, follow these easy steps on how to clean sterling silver jewelry!
Step 1: Soak in an Ammonia Solution
Fill a bowl with a mild ammonia solution, making sure that the bottom is not touching the water. Toss in your jewelry and let it soak for 15 minutes or so. You can also use ammonia in boiling water if you don’t have any on hand. Remove from the solution and rinse off with cold water until it cools down and then pat dry using a soft cloth or towel.
Step 2: Wash with a Mild Dish Soap
Start by adding a small amount of dish soap to your sink. Fill the sink with warm water and drop in your jewelry. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes, then scrub it clean using a toothbrush or soft bristled brush. Rinse the pieces under cool running water and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. If any parts are stubborn, you can use baking soda mixed with water to make a paste that will help loosen those tough stains without harming your jewelry’s finish. Apply the paste directly onto the spot you want cleaned, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse and wipe clean using a damp cloth or paper towel.
Step 3: Dry with a Lint Free Cloth
It’s important to keep your silver jewelry clean so that it doesn’t get tarnished or even worse, start turning black. Here are a few of my favorite ways to make sure your sterling silver pieces stay beautiful:
– Make sure you use cold water when cleaning and only apply a little soap. Hot water can actually cause the metal in your jewelry to oxidize and turn black.
– A lint free cloth is best for drying because you don’t want anything sticking on the wet surface of your silver. The more gentle the cleaner, the less likely it will cause scratches or other damage.
Tip #1 – Rinse Well (several times)
It’s important to rinse well after using any type of soap or chemical cleaner on sterling silver jewelry. Rinse the piece well (several times) and dry it before storing. This will ensure that you don’t store tarnish on your jewelry. The more care you take while cleaning, the longer your pieces will last!
Tip #2 – Watch Out for Rust
If you’re not using the jewelry often, you should be especially careful about rust. Salt water and chlorine can also cause some kinds of metal, including sterling silver, to rust. You can prevent this by coating your jewelry with a clear nail polish or clear fingernail polish after each time you wear it. This will seal it in and keep the air off of it. If you forget to do this, don’t worry too much; as long as you have a good polishing cloth, a little bit of elbow grease and some extra time on your hands then you’ll be able to scrub that grime away in no time!
Tip #3 – Don’t Forget the Back Side
Make sure you clean the back of your jewelry as well. All the dirt from your day gets pushed onto the back side of your piece, and it can be difficult to get it off. To make sure you have access to every part of your sterling silver jewelry, use a hand mirror or small magnifying glass. If you don’t have either, try using a Q-tip dipped in dish soap and water on a toothpick.