Sterling silver is a beautiful metal but being an element of the earth it reacts to the environment around it which can cause it to tarnish. While solid gold doesn’t tarnish or fade, it may still need a little pick-me-up from time to time. There are many commercially available chemical cleaners on the market but we thought we would share three eco-friendly alternatives using things that you probably already have in your pantry that work just as well.
LIGHT WASH - FOR REMOVING EVERYDAY DIRT AND GRIME FROM YOUR GOLD AND SILVER JEWELLERY
1 tsp of dishwashing soap
1 cup of warm water
Old, soft bristled toothbrush
Bowl or shallow dish
Mix the soap into the water until fully dissolved. Let your jewellery sit in the solution for about a minute, then use the toothbrush to gently scrub clean. Rinse with clean water and rub dry with a soft cloth.
MEDIUM WASH - TO RESTORE A BIT OF SPARKLE TO YOR GOLD AND SILVER JEWELLERY
1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda)
1 cup of warm water
Flat clean waterproof surface, your kitchen counter is ideal
Old soft bristle toothbrush
Pour the bicarb onto your surface and add a few drops of water to make a thick paste. Use the toothbrush to rub the paste rather vigorously onto your piece, making sure to get into all the crevices. Rinse with clean water and rub dry with a soft cloth.
SERIOUS CLEAN - TO REMOVE TARNISH FROM YOUR SILVER PIECESIngredients:
A flat dish lined with tinfoil (shiny side up)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp salt
Lay your jewellery out on top of the foil, making sure that as much of the jewellery is touching the foil as possible, e.g. lay chains out flat. If you are cleaning multiple pieces don’t let them touch one another. Mix together the water, bicarb and salt. Then slowly pour the mixture into the foil lined pan. Use a spoon if necessary to stir and reposition the jewellery. Slowly add the vinegar. The reaction will create bubbles galore cleaning every crevice. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse in thoroughly in clean water and dry with a soft cloth.
P.S. We don’t recommend this method for pieces containing pearls and softer stones (diamonds will be fine).