Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Quick and Easy Way for Removing Tarnish

All of us have had the problem of our finely polished jewelry tarnishing over time. With a show coming up in the next few weeks, I need to have my pieces ready for display. One problematic woven chain of mine is tarnished and the inside strands are nearly impossible to polish. I've tried a polishing cloth, but it just doesn't work well enough for this chain.

Here is a recipe for making your own non-toxic cleaning solution.
  • Flat pan lined with aluminum foil with the shiny side facing up
  • 1 Tablespoon of baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon of table salt
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • Hot water, enough to fill the pan so that it covers the silver pieces
Bring water to a boil and then add the baking soda and salt. Stir until everything dissolves. Add the vinegar. 

Note: it will fizz for a short time.

Pour solution into the aluminum lined pan. Place the silver pieces into the pan. Remove the silver pieces from the pan when tarnish is gone. Rinse with water and dry. 

If needed, polish with a polishing cloth, bringing the silver to a high shine.

Note: I tried this solution on sterling silver pieces with a liver of sulfur patina. It does not remove the patina.

This solution does not clean tarnished copper.

Cleaned Chain

Until next time, have fun claying around!

by Janet Alexander 
Technical Adviser


Kathy C. said...

Janet, I do a lot of wire wrap, and in some areas have more problem with tarnishing. I tried the "recipe" this weekend with great results! Thanks very much for this great easy way to take off the tarnish.

kathy C said...

I should have said some geographic areas. Some air must have sulfur in it!

Janet Alexander said...

Great to know Kathy!