Jewelry Cleaning, Sterling Silver Jewelry

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Jewelry Cleaning: Home Solution#1

Sterling Silver Jewelry article This will be the first of two articles about cleaning jewelry using home methods. There are several methods which can be used and some have more value and are more practical than the others. Some will not be covered in these articles. The best, most used, and simplest is to use aluminum foil and baking soda.

Silver becomes dull and tarnished when it comes in contact with sulfur in the air. Tarnish doesn't damage the silver, but it takes away from the beauty of the jewelry piece and is difficult to remove. Aluminum foil can be used to polish silver because it draws the sulphur out of the item, leaving it shiny and lustrous. Baking soda helps to electrically charge the foil and hastens the chemical reaction. Any silver piece can be polished in less than 30 minutes.

Needed Items:

  • Baking Soda
  • Aluminum foil or pan
  • Glass or plastic dish, Stainless Steel pan
  • Boiling Water
  • Wood or Plastic utensil
  • Absorbent towel
  • Soft cloth

The cleaning procedure:

Step 1. Boil just enough water to submerge all of the sterling silver pieces.

Step 2. Line a glass, plastic, or stainless steel pan or bowl with a slightly
crumpled piece of aluminum foil.(An aluminum pan, not used for cooking, can be used in place of the above items.)

Step 3. Lay your jewelry pieces on the aluminum, making sure the silver touches the aluminum foil.

Step 4. Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the jewelry.

Step 5. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to immerse the jewelry items. Bubbling will occur, giving off a rotton-egg odor. (the sulfuric acid being released by the cleaning action)

Step 6. Move the jewelry pieces around with the wooden or plastic utensil to ensure that all the silver surfaces contact the aluminum foil. Your silver items will become bright again.

Step 7. Rinse the jewelry under tap water, wipe the items with your absorbent towel, then, wipe dry with a soft cotton cloth or a jewelry cloth.

NOTE: The baking soda method of cleaning is recommended only for jewelry that is all sterling silver and those that incorporate plastic, glass or crystal gems. Some gemstones will be damaged by the baking soda reaction such as, turquoise, amber, pearls, opal, jet and ivory. (Organic Gemstones)

Remember: All of my educational articles will be archived in my JDesigns store under the category Jewelry Articles for future reference. Feel free to access these articles as often as you need. They are available to the general public to read, print or download without cost, so, invite your friends to use them as well.

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