If you’ve ever found a forgotten piece of silver jewelry in the bottom of your jewelry box – dark, dingy and no longer the least bit shiny – then you’re no stranger to tarnish.
What is tarnish? It’s a chemical reaction between silver and the sulfur in the air. Given enough time, it is pretty unavoidable unless you vacuum seal your jewelry between wears (and really, does that?).
So what can you do to clean your jewelry?
DIY Jewelry Cleaner
You can use chemistry to fight chemistry. If a chemical reaction causes tarnish, another one can remove it! By creating an electrochemical charge between metal and an alkaline solution you can reverse the effect of sulfur on your jewelry.
Now, unless you’re a chemist, I probably lost you somewhere around electrochemical. No worries, this technique is easier than you think. Here’s what you’ll need to clean your jewelry at home:
- a shallow heat-proof dish
- baking soda
- a kettle or pot to boil water in
- tarnished silver
Let’s do this!
First, line your dish with the tinfoil. Place your silver jewelry items in the bottom making sure that each piece is touching the tinfoil.
Next, boil the water and dissolve 1TBSP of baking soda for each cup of water. You will need enough solution to completely submerge your jewelry.
To avoid thermal shock (especially if your jewelry has stones or pearls), allow the water to cool slightly. We want it to be hot but not scalding. Like the perfect bubble bath.
Pour the soda solution into your prepared dish and watch the magic. You will see the tarnish bubbling away.
Once you’re satisfied with the result, remove your pieces and give them a quick rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Allow your pieces to dry completely before storing.
Check it Out
For all the visual learners, this video from today.com demonstrates the process.