Sad Lookin’ Silver
We all have that tangled lump of silver jewelry sitting in a drawer, basket or box somewhere.
I recently came across mine and was slightly saddened to see how tarnished it had become after a few months out of circulation…
My pile included a Links of London charm, an old silver bracelet, a Tiffany ring, a few pairs of earrings, etc. I’ve also noticed that for whatever chemical reason, my body reacts to silver and blackens it after a few wears (I believe this has to do with the alkaline balance in my body – but I am sure someone smarter than I can correct me on that).
I kind of chuckle/snort/cry when I see silver polishing products.
They are so utterly expensive and don’t always work.
There’s got to be a better way.
Saddened that my silver jewelry didn’t look as beautiful as I wanted it to, I investigated the best, most effective way to clean silver that yielded exceptional results. I was so excited. I cleaned every piece of silver I could find in my house. It was amazing, I felt really accomplished. This doesn’t preclude other silver pieces, such as family heirlooms, silverware and service pieces, picture frames, coins, heck even silver bars. I tested a few techniques out but this one seems to be the magic combination. It can be used on all kinds of silver alloys, but cannot be used of other metals or costume jewelry. Silver only!
What you’ll need:
1) 1 cup of boiling water
2) 1 tablespoon baking soda
3) 1 tablespoon white salt
4) 1/2 cup white vinegar
5) 1 sheet of tinfoil, shiny side up
6) bowl (I used a soup bowl but you can use a larger bowl or even a bucket depending on how much silver you have)
7) Polishing cloth (I used a microfiber cloth).
What to do:
Boil the water. While it’s simmering up, line the bottom of the bowl with the tinfoil, shiny side up. I literally covered the bowl with tinfoil. Then, add the salt and baking soda to the bottom of the bowl. Add the vinegar slowly (prepare for the fizz) and mix everything together to dissolve the salt and baking soda. You want all the granules to dissolve so that they don’t scratch your pieces (always thinking…).
Go Ahead & Wait
Add the boiling water to your bowl and then gently drop each piece of silver in the bowl. Just let it sit, the chemical reaction does all the work for you. If you wish, you can flip them over (like burgers on a Q) with salad tongs, just to ensure that both sides get exposure to the tinfoil.
Spit & Polish
Take each piece out carefully, being sure not to burn yourself, and buff it gently with your polishing cloth. You should start to see all the tarnish come off and all the original glory of your silver come back!
If you have charms or stones, you can try massaging good old ketchup onto the silver and rinsing it clean…I don’t think this mixture is OK for enamelled charms (although I did it on mine – I was willing to take the risk).
See what I mean?
So easy, so cheap and so incredibly effective! Enjoy this tip!