Silver is never out of fashion; and those who love it, don’t settle for anything less than sterling silver. After a while, however, the silverware starts losing its shine. By following some simple tips on how to clean sterling silverware, you can keep your precious artifacts shining like new. You will find homemade cleaners as well as some commercial cleaner such as the Brilliant Silver Cleaner; you can get from Amazon now!
How to make a homemade sterling silver cleaner?
Keeping your sterling silverware free of tarnish is not very difficult. You can even prepare some effective silver cleaners at home using resources available in your kitchen. These cleaners are easy to make and amazingly effective.
However, when you are using a silver cleaner to clean embellished silverware or silver jewelry, always be careful not to damage the other gemstones or pearls embedded in it. Some of the silver cleaners may contain ingredients which are harmful to gemstones like onyx, opal or turquoise. Immersing stone-embellished sterling silverware in chemical cleaners for even a short while can damage the stones, and disturb their settings.
These cleaners may not be so harmful on clear gemstones like garnet and blue topaz. However, sterling silver Artifacts that contain these gemstones should not be soaked in the cleaning solution, as it might dislodge the stones.
Oxidized flatware needs special care. You can only use a polishing cloth for cleaning.
After cleaning the sterling silverware with a cleaner, you should never forget to rinse it with clean water. The water will remove every single trace of the chemicals present in the silverware cleaner. Any chemical traces remaining in the small crevices of the artifacts for a long time may harm the metal. After rinsing, wipe them dry with a microfiber cleaning cloth. It will protect the silver items from water stains.
Water and Soap: The best ingredients to clean sterling silverware are dishwashing water and soap. Mix a small amount of any mild dishwashing soap in lukewarm water and rinse the sterling silverware with it. Make sure that the dishwashing soap you are using to clean sterling silverware doesn’t contain ammonia and phosphate. Rinse or wipe the piece thoroughly with plain water. If you are not satisfied with the result, try other methods given below.
Water and Baking Soda: Take some baking soda in a bowl and add a few drops of water to it. Mix them to make a paste. Apply a small amount of this paste on the sterling silverware, and rub on the entire surface using a soft cotton cloth. In case you are cleaning an etched artifact, make the silver cleaning paste more dilute and apply it using a soft brush for greater reach to the crevices. Rinse the piece thoroughly under running water. Wipe it dry using a clean cloth.
Lemon juice and Olive Oil: Take a bowl and fill it with a half cup of lemon juice, then add one tablespoon of olive oil to it. Dip a microfiber cloth in this solution. Take the microfiber cloth out and squeeze it to remove the excess cleaning solution. Rub the silver surface well. Rinse the piece thoroughly under running water. Wipe it dry using a clean cloth.
Baking soda and White vinegar: You can use this process for removing tough tarnish. Make a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda and a half cup of white vinegar. Immerse the silverware in this solution for two to three hours. Rinse with plain water, wipe, and let it dry.
Salt, Baking soda, boiling water and aluminum foil: Take a good quantity of baking soda and salt. Cover your kitchen sink with aluminum foil. Put the sterling silverware on the aluminum foil. Pour boiling water until the pieces are submerged. Add two tablespoons of baking soda and salt to the boiling water. Stir until the baking soda dissolves completely.
The chemical reaction that will take place in the boiling water will transfer the tarnish from the silver pieces to the aluminum foil. Your silverware will get their shine back in 5 to 10 minutes. The only disadvantage of this process is the foul smell produced in the process. Take out the silver pieces from the hot water using a salad tong. Rinse them thoroughly, wipe and let them dry.
Best sterling silverware cleaners
If you are not able to remove the stubborn tarnish and restore the luster of your gorgeous silver using given home-based techniques, you can also try some high-quality products available on the market to clean sterling silverware.
Brilliant Silver Cleaner for Sterling Silverware
The Brilliant Silver Cleaner is one of the best for cleaning sterling silverware and silver-plated jewelry in minimal time and effort. Just drop your tarnished silverware in the brilliant silver cleaner solution and let it soak for a few minutes. Remove the pieces from the solution. You will get the pieces shining like new. While cleaning your sterling silverware with Brilliant silver cleaner, you won’t need to put an effort in rubbing or polishing the piece. Rinse all silverware thoroughly with plain water and wipe them dry using a soft cotton cloth. This cleaning formula is very economical, and can be reused time and again. Avoid immersing stone-embellished jewelry in this solution. Click here to check the current price on Amazon.
Weiman Silver Wipes Polish and Tarnish Remover
Weiman silver wipes are the safest way to remove tarnish and restore the original shine and luster of stone-embedded sterling silverware. Its mild cleaning formula is safe for gemstones and diamonds. It can also be used to clean brass, gold, aluminum and copper items. Rub a wipe on your silverware and watch the tarnish vanish in a few seconds. Rinse the piece with plain or warm water and wipe it dry using a soft towel. Weiman silver wipes leave behind a coating on your silverware, which protects them from tarnishing for a long time. Regular use of these wipes will keep your sterling flatware shining like new. Click here to check the current price on Amazon.
How to polish your sterling silverware?
For a mildly tarnished silver artifact, polishing alone will be enough to restore its original shine and luster. It works best on oxidized silver.
Sterling silver contains 92 percent of silver metal which is very soft and can get scratch marks easily. Special silver polish cloths are available on the market. However, you can also use microfiber or any other soft material for polishing your silver jewels. Avoid using tissue paper.
You should always move your hands along or against the grains of the silver surface while polishing it. Keep replacing the stained portion of rubbing cloth with clean and fresh ones. Stained fabric can put the tarnish back on the surface of the silverware. You can polish the hard to reach areas using a Q-tip.
Be careful not to rub much while polishing silver plated items.
If you want a unique formula for polishing your silver, we recommend the Hagerty Silversmiths’ Polish which you can find on Amazon.
How to prevent silverware from tarnishing
Wear: The best possible way to protect your sterling flatware from tarnishing is their frequent use. When you wear your silver jewelry, it gets cleaned by oils present on your skin.
Avoid exposure: Many kitchens and household substances like chlorinated water and rubber, or food items containing sulfur like eggs, mayonnaise, onions, etc. can corrode or tarnish silverware. Exposing silverware to direct sunlight can also tarnish them. So you can prevent tarnishing of the silver by avoiding exposure to the factors harmful to it.
Beauty and cosmetic products, and hair sprays also contain chemicals that are harmful to silver jewelry.
Storage: When you are not using it, store your silver in airtight plastic bags. These anti-tarnishing strips available on Amazon also slow down the process of tarnishing and keep the shine intact. To prevent scratching, always store separate silver jewelry in different bags. Try to keep your silver artifacts in cold and dry places. Humidity can hasten the process of tarnishing. Keeping a drying agent like activated charcoal, chalk or silica gel with the silver jewels may also help reduce tarnishing.