How to Make Your Silver Artefacts and Jewellery Look Like New

If you are a person who likes silver jewellery and artefacts, you know the struggle of cleaning these items is real. Here’s how to clean silver artefacts and jewellery at home easily.

Updated Reading Time: 7 minutes

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Silver is one material that you would have in your home, and it does not matter how well you care for it; it will get a few blemishes over time. This is a natural process. However, no one wants to have any stains on their silver, be it a silver cutlery set or dishes or even silver jewellery. Imagine having guests over for dinner and serving them food in a tarnished silver dish. No matter how good the food looks and tastes, the attention would be on the tarnished silver. What’s more, doing so is not hygienic either. Now, you cannot prevent your silver from getting stained, but you certainly can clean it.

Therefore, it is very important to know how to clean your silver and restore it to its natural sparkle once again.

Air containing sulphur-based substances reacts with the silver to form a dark layer on the silver. This process is called tarnishing. Other things like perfume and makeup also contribute in tarnishing silver due to chemical reactions. Tarnishing makes silver artefacts or jewellery lose its shine.

However, please note that you must always check the compatibility of the cleaning products on your artefacts/jewellery by running a small patch test. It will help you avoid any untoward reaction and damaging the silver item completely.

Try the following cleaning methods to bring back the shine.

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To Clean Silver Plated Items

Method 1: Using Aluminium Foil and Baking Soda 

  1. Step 1: Use Aluminium Foil

    To restore the shine on your silver display items or accessories, line a large-sized bowl with aluminium foil.

  2. Step 2: Pour Hot Water and Baking Soda

    Pour half a bowl of hot water in this bowl and add 1 tbsp. of baking soda and 1 tbsp. of salt.

  3. Step 3: Soak the Item

    Now, soak your silver item in this solution for 1 minute.

  4. Step 4: Rinse and Dry the Item

    Remove and rinse the silver piece with clean water. Let it air dry. 

To Clean Large Silver Items

  1. Method 1: Using Ammonia

    Step 1: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

    Prepare a solution by mixing 4-5 cups of warm water with 2 cups of ammonia. Wear protective gloves while handling ammonia.

    Step 2: Soak the Item

    Now, soak your tarnished silver items in this solution for 10 minutes.

    Step 3: Wash the Item

    Remove the artefacts and wash them with clean water.

    Step 4: Allow Air-Drying

    Pat them dry with a cotton cloth. Your silver should be sparkling. 

  2. Method 2: Using Cornflour

    Step 1: Make a Cleaning Paste

    Cornflour works well in restoring the shine of your silver jewellery. Simply make a thick paste comprising ½ cup of cornflour and ¾ cup of water.

    Step 2: Apply On the Item

    Mix it well and apply it all over the silver surface.

    Step 3: Allow it to Dry

    Allow it to dry completely.

    Step 4: Scrub the Item

    Use a clean towel and gently scrub away the powder.

  3. Method 3: Using Dishwashing Liquid

    Step 1: Make a Cleaning Solution

    Squeeze 2 drops of dishwashing liquid in 1 cup of warm water. Using a mild dishwashing soap is an effective way to maintain the shine on your silver artefacts. Our preferred choice is Vim Dishwash Gel, which is easily available in the market. Test the dishwashing soap on a small inconspicuous area first to check the compatibility.

    Step 2: Scrub the Item

    Soak a sponge in this solution and scrub your silver item with it.

    Step 3: Rinse the Item

    Rinse the item using plain water

    Step 4: Dry the Item

    Once you have washed, dry the item with a clean cotton cloth.

    Step 5: Store the Right Way

    Store your silver in a dry place to prevent excess tarnishing.  

  4. Method 4: Lemon Juice and Milk Powder

    Step 1: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

    Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing 1 tbsp. of lemon juice, 1½ cup of water, ½ cup of milk powder.

    Step 2: Soak the Item

    Drop your affected silver item in this solution and allow it to soak overnight.

    Step 3: Wipe with a Cotton Towel

    The next day, take it out and wipe with a cotton towel. You will see the shine come back.

  5. Method 5: Using Ketchup

    Step 1: Cover the Item with Ketchup

    Ketchup helps clean up the tarnished silver cutlery in minutes. Cover the tarnished spots on your silverware with ketchup.

    Step 2: Leave It to Dry

    If the tarnish is especially dark, leave the ketchup on the silver item for 15 minutes.

    Step 3: Clean the Item

    Now, clean off the ketchup using a soft cloth. For things like candlesticks that have a lot of intricate design on them, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to scrub the crevices.

    Step 4: Wash the Item

    Wash off the ketchup layer with clean water and let it air dry. Once dry, your silver will look as good as new. 

To Clean Small Silver Items

  1. Method 1: Using Toothpaste

    Step 1: Take Toothpaste on a Cloth

    Toothpaste is one item you will surely find in your home. Squirt a small amount of toothpaste on a cleaning rag.

    Step 2: Wipe the Item

    Now, wipe the tarnished areas on your silver artefacts with the cloth.

    Step 3: Wash the Item

    Wash off the toothpaste with clean water. The silver item will be as shiny as the day you bought it. 

  2. Method 2: Using Hair Conditioner

    Step 1: Apply Hair Conditioner

    This ingredient will help you avoid tarnish spots on your silver. Cover the artefacts with a generous helping of your hair conditioner.

    Step 2: Wash the Item

    Wash it off using clean water. It creates a protective layer and prevents the light and air from tarnishing your prized silver artefacts. 

    Step 3: Allow Air-Drying

    Allow the item to dry completely once it is washed.

  3. Method 3: Using Soda and Lime Juice

    Step 1: Make a Cleaning Solution

    Add a few drops of lime juice in 1 cup of soda. Pour this in a bowl. This simple item is easily available in the market

    Step 2: Soak the Item

    Now, soak your tarnished silver trinkets in this solution for 1 hour.

    Step 3: Wash the Item

    Later, wash off the silver items with clean water and pat them dry with a clean, cotton cloth.

To Store Silver Items

Always wrap your silver items in muslin cloth and store in an airtight box or a wooden box. It helps prevent tarnish and discolouration. Never wrap it in a newspaper. Also, avoid storing two different types of jewellery items in same box.

Key Tip:

 To prevent your silver item from tarnishing, we suggest you to clean it after every use. The oils from your skin can get deposited on its surface and cause oxidisation. After each use, dampen a cotton cloth in warm water and clean the entire surface thoroughly. Allow them to dry thoroughly before storing away. You can also drop a 2-3 sachets of silica gel in the storage box. They absorb moisture and help prevent your silver items from tarnishing.

There you go! No matter if it is a silver dinner set or that one piece of jewellery lying around which you have not used because it has been tarnished, these effective tips will help you keep your silver artefacts sparkly and ready to use at any time.

Moisture is one of the reasons of tarnish on your silver. You can try using chalk to prevent the moisture from accumulating around silver. Simply place a piece of chalk in your silver jewellery box. It will absorb the moisture and help keeping your silver shiny for longer. 

Originally published