Silver plated jewelry such as bracelets, earrings, and rings are beautiful and shiny, but they tend to lose their shine and gain tarnish over time.
These tarnished areas are caused by the chemical reaction of silver with exposure to the moisture and oxygen in the air.
But we can easily restore our silver plated items to their shiny look.
Here are two ways of cleaning and removing tarnish from silver plated jewelry.
1. Basic Cleaning with Soap and Water
Silver plating is a process of coating metal jewelry with a thin layer of silver to make it look like solid silver.
In cleaning silver plated, gentleness and care are required as not to remove the silver plating and exposing the metal under the coat.
If the silver-plated items are losing their luster and signs of tarnish are showing. It’s time to clean with soap and water.
1. Use a mild liquid soap and warm water in a container. Soak the jewelry in the soapy water for a few minutes.
2. To remove stubborn dirt and grime over elaborate designs or nook and crannies with a soft-bristled toothbrush; gently scrub the dirt off; alternatively, use a soft cloth.
3. Once you are satisfied with the cleaning, rinse off the soap with warm tap water or in a bowl.
4. Dry them with a clean cotton cloth. Make sure the jewelry is completely dry before you store them.
2. Deep Cleansing Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda Wash
For heavy dirt and tarnished silver-plated jewelry, the combination of aluminum foil and baking soda wash is perfect.
It is still gentle on the silver-plating because there’s no need to brush or rub the items.
The chemical process that occurs during the soaking actually reverses the tarnishing process.
1. Use an aluminum pan or line a glass bowl with aluminum foil; making sure the shiny surface faces upwards.
2. Add equally proportioned baking soda and salt. For example, a 1-to-1 ratio is one tablespoon each, to the pan or bowl.
3. Add enough hot water into the pan or bowl to dissolve the powder mixture.
4. Soak the jewelry into the baking soda solution, add more hot water if necessary to keep the jewelry submerged. Keep them in the solution for a few minutes.
5. Black and yellow flakes will come off the jewelry. These flakes are the result of the oxidation of the silver that the aluminum attracts and breaks out from the surface of the submerged items.
6. Once the items are clean to your satisfaction and the tarnish completely removed, remove from the solution and rinse with water.
7. Dry completely with a clean cloth and make sure that the jewelry pieces are thoroughly dry before storing.
These two ways of cleaning silver-plated jewelry are not abrasive and are gentle on the items which is important not to remove the plating.
How to store silver plated jewelry?
Surprising storage for silver plated jewelry is Ziplock bags. These small plastic bags can be sealed shut, keeping air out.
If you prefer the use of a jewelry box, put a silica sachet or chalk to absorb excess moisture. And store them in a dry area away from moisture and humidity.
How to take care of silver plated jewelry?
Do not expose silver-plated jewelry to chemicals such as bleach, chlorine and household detergents. These harsh chemicals can damage the plating.
Don’t wear them while swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool, doing household chores.
Body oils can cause tarnish or corrosion so when using lotion or oil, remove or wipe the items immediately to keep them clean.