Care - How do I clean my silver jewellery?
A first piece of advice is not to wear rings and jewellery when washing hands, taking showers or when sleeping. The jewellery then exposed to extra hard wear. It is easy for dirt to stick to the jewellery.
Silver oxidizes over time. This is partly due to the fact that the silver is exposed to oxygen and exhaust gases. Your skin can also affect how much a piece of jewellery oxidizes. This can be very different between different people.
To prevent a silver piece of jewellery from turning black when not in use, a tip is to store the jewellery airtight, preferably in a plastic bag.
One way to avoid oxidation is to use your silver jewellery, as the oxidation then does not adhere in the same way.
How do I get rid of the oxide if my jewellery has turned black?
A simple and environmentally friendly way is to put aluminium foil in a bowl. I usually put the foil with the shiny side up, but I do not think it really matters.
- Place the jewellery / silver on the foil.
- Sprinkle a few teaspoons of bicarbonate over (if you use baking powder, you may take a little more, as baking powder is a bit diluted.)
- Then pour boiling water over and let stand for a few minutes. In a chemical process, the oxide will be transferred to the aluminium foil, which will look quite disgusting.
- Rinse off the silver and wipe with a soft cloth.
Remember not to use this method if your jewellery has oxidized (dark) details that can then lose their colour.
If the silver is heavily oxidized, the process can be repeated. If this does not help, you can submit your jewellery for mechanical polishing..
For easier cleaning of jewellery with set stones or oxidized details, detergent, toothpaste or ketchup work well. Take an old toothbrush and rub gently.
Most toothpastes contain abrasives, so be careful with this on high-gloss polished surfaces.
The acidic substances in ketchup react with the matt surface and make it disappear. Pour some ketchup on a soft cloth and polish the silver with it. Then rinse the silver and polish if necessary with a polishing cloth.
It also works to mix 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil into a solution. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and gently rub the silver until it shines. Rinse and dry.
Another way is to mix 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda together, then let your silver jewelry soak in the mixture for two to three hours before rinsing and polishing.
If you have questions about how to handle and care for your jewellery, feel free to ask! I'm happy to help!