Jewelry is a hot ticket item. It serves our wants to wear aesthetically pleasing jewelry and the need to accessorize our clothing with fashionable jewelry. Like other investments, you will need to properly care for your jewelry so that it continues looking its best for years to come. When considering the alternatives for cleaning sterling silver jewelry and silver-plated jewelry, you will find you have two choices: you can have your jewelry professionally maintained or you can care for your jewelry in the comfort of your own home. The difference between the two methods is that the one done from home is less expensive. While sterling silver jewelry and silver-plated jewelry are similar in appearance, they are not one in the same. Therefore they should never be cleaned in the same manner. Regardless of what route you choose, if your jewelry is not taken care of regularly, it may become rusty or tarnish in time.
Steps for Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry
If you decide to clean your sterling silver jewelry yourself, there are some things required for the operation, such as: baking soda, jewelry cleaners, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a special spray. Water is also required in the end. More than likely, you already have many of these items in your bathroom or kitchen.
The first thing you will need to do is decide on a designated work space. This is important! You will need a flat surface to work on that is near a water source. In order to avoid calling a plumber and possibly losing your favorite pieces forever, jewelry should never be left unattended to accidentally fall into the sink hole. Always plug the sink. The two tips will allow for a better experience. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you choose to use baking soda, it should be mixed in equal parts with water until a paste is formed. Gently place the paste on the object and set it safely aside for at least an hour.
Once the hour has passed, the jewelry should be scrubbed with a toothbrush. The scrubbing can be made with circular moves, for better results. The next phase is rinsing the object with water and letting it to dry. The same technique can be used with toothpaste. You can use toothpaste or baking soda, but never both together.
For daily care, the residues that accumulate, such as natural body oil should be wiped with a soft cloth. Jewelry should be kept in a cool place and you should never wear you favored pieces while taking a bath or working with household cleaners.
For removing tougher things, like tarnish, a WD-40 spray can be very useful. Once you have sprayed your jewelry, the object will need to sit for a couple of minutes before it can be brushed with circular motions. An old toothbrush is great for cleaning off baking soda, toothpaste and WD-40 residue. If the tarnish is not entirely removed, a new scrubbing may be required for cleaning the object completely.
Tarnish can also be eliminated by using a sheet of aluminum foil and a glass bowl. For the best results, place some baking soda, 2 tbsp. to be exact and a half teaspoon of salt onto the foil. Place your jewelry on the top of the sheet and then pour hot water on top. Always use caution when working with or near hot water. You will then need to keep the bowl covered for approximately five minutes. After the time has expired, remove everything and in the majority of cases the object will be tarnish free. Yes, tarnish free and made possible with less than a dollar worth of products. While not magic, it is the combination of the foil and substances used that creates a reaction which dissolves the tarnish. However, a word of caution; You should never use a metal bowl, as the reaction between the baking soda, salt and the metal could be lethal to your jewelry.
Steps for Cleaning Silver-Plated Jewelry
The methods for cleaning silver-plated jewelry are not nearly as exhaustive as that of sterling silver. Quite frankly, it’s simple and quick. All you need is warm soapy water; a soft cloth and your jewelry will look as good as new. Most all silver-plated jewelry has a protective coating on the jewelry itself thus using cleaners other than mild soap will remove the protective coating and your jewelry will become damaged.
With all the tools and products common to most households, people who own sterling jewelry and silver-plated jewelry can learn how to clean their jewelry without the need of high-priced professional cleaners. Not only is it cost-effective, you can clean your jewelry when needed and best, you’ll never have to wait longer than the time spent in cleaning.
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