Silver is one of the most popular metals used in jewelry. Some even believe that truly sophisticated ladies wear silver jewelry, and gold jewelry is worn only by rich but ordinary women. Silver has a lot of advantages – beauty, durability, low weight and a significant difference in price compared to gold.
Pretty much the only downside to this noble metal is that it darkens over time, no matter how regularly you wear it. The main reason for this phenomenon is hydrogen sulfide, which is always present in the air. Therefore, if silver items are not stored in a sterile chamber, silver oxidation will definitely occur, and humidity and high air temperature will accelerate this process. In this article, we’ll show you how to make your jewelry shine like before.
Firstly, many jewelry stores sell ready-made solutions for cleaning silver in the form of sprays and solutions – often immediately in a set along with napkins and small brushes. There are also professional compositions in which you need to lower jewelry for 30 minutes. But folk remedies that can be found in your kitchen cabinet or refrigerator are much more accessible and cheaper.
One of the simplest and most effective means any toothpaste. A drop of paste is applied to a soft and dense cloth, then the product is intensively rubbed with it until the desired effect occurs. Patterned jewelry can also be cleaned with a soft toothbrush, but there is a risk of micro-scratches.
Another popular tool is baking soda. It is mixed with water to the state of slurry and the product is rubbed with the resulting mass, then washed off with water. There is also a recipe that allows you to clean jewelry without effort. To do this, soda is dissolved in boiling water at the rate of 15 g for every 100 ml and mixed. Then a piece of aluminum foil is thrown there and silver jewelry is lowered for 10-15 minutes. Similarly, instead of water with dissolved soda, you can use water in which potatoes were boiled.
An important point: if the jewelry has a clasp made of base metal, it may rust when it comes into contact with water. Therefore, it is better not to immerse a part of the product with a clasp in an aqueous solution for a long time, and immediately wipe it dry after the procedure.
Unfortunately, baking soda can damage fine patterns and inlays. A more gentle method was used decades ago and is still relevant today. It – lipstick. The fats and titanium dioxide present in its composition help to remove browning. There are two ways to apply lipstick. In the first case, a paper napkin is smeared with it, then the decoration is gently wiped. The second method is more effective if the product has through patterns or convex elements – the jewelry itself is smeared with lipstick, after which it is wiped with the same napkin, and a cotton swab is more suitable for the smallest holes.
Another good option is to using ammonia Helps lighten even the tiniest pits and weaves. It is better to carry out manipulations with an ammonia solution at an open window and do not remove the lid from the container with this liquid for a long time. It is necessary to mix ammonia with water in a ratio of 1:10, then dip all jewelry into the solution for 30-60 minutes, depending on the degree of contamination. To enhance the effect, you can add hydrogen peroxide in the same volume as ammonia.
Often used to clean silver items. acetic acid, but it is more suitable for small fresh stains, and not for stubborn stains. For this method, you will need up to 10% vinegar, 100 g of citric acid, 0.5 liters of water and a piece of cloth. All ingredients are mixed, then the fabric is moistened in the resulting mixture and the product is wiped with it.
With moderate darkening, you can use lemon juice or citric acid solution. Silver jewelry should be put in a saucepan with juice and left in it for a while, after the procedure, rinse with water and wipe with a soft cloth.
There is a more original way of cleaning – with banana peels chopped in a blender. After rubbing with this viscous mass, the thing will regain its original luster, however, with strong blackening, this is not so effective.
Still, no matter how ridiculous it may sound, a dark coating on silver products can be removed with Coca Cola (yes, it’s not a myth). Scientists have proven that phosphoric acid in the composition of the drink copes well with pollution. Soda is poured into a saucepan, brought to a boil, after which the products are boiled in it for 10 minutes. You can do without boiling, just leaving the silver in Coca-Cola overnight.
None of the above methods can be used for blackened silver, since blackening does not tolerate chemicals and requires special care. At home, it can be cleaned in two ways. The first option is suitable for a slight darkening: leave decorations in a soapy solution with a small amount of soda for 30-40 minutes. The second way: put the product in water with peeled potatoes and leave for 4-5 hours.
Rhodium-plated silver also requires careful handling. It can not be strongly rubbed, immersed in an acidic environment and ammonia solution. Can be used soapy solution, polish gently with lipstick and banana peel.
It has its own characteristics and cleaning of silver jewelry with gilding. The gold layer is very thin and soft, so the use of powders and intense friction is also not recommended. One of the most suitable ways is to leave gold-plated things in water with a couple of spoons of vinegar essence. A more original method is to leave it in beer. You can also gently wipe the products with a cotton swab dipped in wine vinegar.
It is worth noting that if gems are present on the jewelry, cleaning at home is unlikely to suit them. In this case, it is better not to take risks, but immediately give the item to the jeweler. Of course, such hard and durable stones, such as emerald, can be cleaned even in the most aggressive way, but softer ones, like malachite or turquoise, are easy to scratch. For them, it is better to use ammonia, but with a weaker concentration. Ruby, topaz and garnet can change color when heated, so hot water procedures are contraindicated for them. And, of course, pearls, on which even ordinary dust can leave scratches, require the most gentle cleaning methods. In order not to damage such a delicate material, it is best to contact a specialist who has the necessary compositions and tools.
If you want your jewelry to stay beautiful and shiny for as long as possible, there are a few simple rules to follow. As mentioned above, high humidity accelerates the oxidation of silver, so it is recommended to remove accessories before taking a bath or shower, as well as cleaning, washing dishes and playing sports. Also avoid contact with silver jewelry cosmetics and perfumes, medicines. Particular attention should be paid to storage: silver items should be in a box lined with a soft cloth on the inside.