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Make your tarnished silver and dull jewelry shine like new after a cleaning with these common household items.
I tried toothpaste on my silver ring tonight and it worked beautifully. I applied toothpaste (with a toothbrush) as I would if I were brushing my teeth and went to town. As ‘Antique Silver’ suggests, it may not work well on ALL silver rings, but the simple silver ring (no real detail or “engraved” markings on it) I have looks beautiful again!
I use a Sunshine polishing cloth (it’s the best brand and will polish both silver and gold) and for tough stains I use a German paste cleaner called Simichrome. The polishing cloths are inexpensive and the paste cleaner is about $9.00 per tube (but you only need to use a small amount to clean a piece). Toothpaste or baking soda will put many fine scratches on the surface of the silver in addition to removing the tarnish. These 2 fixes will dull the finish and rob silver of it’s “life”. Silver that’s really far gone I take it to a professional metal polisher.
You dont need to use soda – a tea spoon of normal salt and aluminium foil with hot water will do the trick. AND: it will NOT damage the silver at all – it will reduce the oxydated silver (the dark stuff) back to pure silver.
I agree – I would NEVER use any of the methods described in this article on any of the silver I’ve inherited or purchased. It’s through use and using a gentle paste cleaner, a soft cloth and elbow grease that gives silver its patina over time.
We are going through some old items , antiques and we have antique silver items and was wondering the best way to clean them and make shiny again. Open for suggestions. Thanks Patty
Silver, alfoil? Just tried it. Does not work in the slightest.
use salt instead
We have used the trick with the hand sanitiser on all our jewellery and tea ware, it has brought them back to the day they would have been made. I have checked with jewellers and it hasn’t reduced the weight of or removed any silver from our jewellery. Works like a charm :-)
I would never recommend any of these. Each method will unnecessarily remove far more of the silver than would proper cleaning. Nearly all of the silver that people bring to me has been ruined by these “easy tricks”. Silver pits from heavy acid cleaners, and rough handling with corrosives like toothpaste. It develops a dark dull surface. The only way to keep silver from tarnishing is regular use, followed by careful cleaning in warm water with mild soap (never use detergent). Wipe gently to dry silver with a soft cotton cloth, then wipe with a fresh cotton cloth to help bring out its shine. It’s more work this way but your silver will look lovely forever. Remember that “cleaning” silver is actually removing some of its surface. Gentle is best.
I learned from a jewelry store to make a paste of baking soda and water. Works like a charm every time!
The aluminum foil trick is a good one, as it reduces the silver oxide rather than remove silver. The other ideas will certainly remove material.
Silver doesn’t oxidise, the tarnish is a sulfide.
Hi Antique Silver, “The only way to keep silver from tarnishing is regular use, followed by careful cleaning in warm water with mild soap (never use detergent).” So how do you remove tarnish which has built up over decades? :-)
HI – can you let me know how to remove black spots on antique silver – silver polish is not removing it.