Ever heard of the phrase, ‘every jewelry tells a story? I bet you have. One thing about the remark is the intensity of truth in it. As such, it’s often a huge frustration when you’ve rocked your elegant outfit but the supposed jewelry isn’t in the mood to play along. By this I mean being met by a stained jewelry.
Not to worry, in this article I am going to show you a step by step means on how to clean silver plated jewelry. This method it time-efficient and leaves your jewelry sparkling like a brand new one.
Why it is important to clean jewelry?
Silver-plated jewelry often losses its luster due to oxidization in moisture, acids, oils, and air.
A dirty or tarnished fine jewelry (silver-plated in this case) isn’t always appealing when in a dirty state. Therefore, cleaning does not only promote attractiveness but also;
- Prevent bacterial infestation- unkept jewelry act as a hideout to bacteria which impose health issues such as skin irritation and allergies. The silver can be degraded in the process.
- Prevent excess dirt and debris from scratching the metals.
How often should you clean?
How often you should clean depends on the severity of putting them on.
If you have them on daily, and in circumstances where they are bound to get dirty, give them gentle scrubs every two weeks. At the end of each month, you can switch to a deep cleaning. Similarly, you can choose to take the jewelry to a jeweler for a better inspection.
Avoid using liquid often on fragile silver-plated jewelries that are rarely worn. They might only require a polishing with a soft cloth.
Methods of cleaning silver-plated jewelry
There are two major ways in which you can choose to clean your jewelry. Both work effectively but, this is dependent on how closely you get to examine your jewelry to ensure perfection.
This is the first and slightly faster method. It involves taking your dirty jewelry to be cleaned by professionals. It could cost you money or be free of charge depending on where you purchased the jewelry.
For instance, if you get it from a local jewelry shop, overall benefits that come along with the package is free inspections and cleanings. Just be sure to have a good connection with the jeweler to be offered good services.
On the other hand, a far-off place could cost you some money since you’re paying for the jeweler’s time and utilization of their equipment. Nonetheless, you get a decent service in exchange of your bucks.
Remember, it is advisable to visit a reputable jeweler. In this way, you’ll be sure about the jeweler’s knowledge on the jewelry in question.
Cleaning at home.
Since parting away from your jewelry for some time isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, there’s an option of doing it yourself, at the comfort of your home. There are many ways of cleaning your jewelry in your house.
You don’t necessarily need to be on budget to settle for this. More often than not, it’s better and safer to handle your silver-plated jewelry best way you know how.
The following steps below can kickstart the process and enable you learn a trick or two.
Items you will need
As expected, you will need to equip yourself with cleaning tools/ items. They include but not limited to;
- Lukewarm, hot, and cool water
- Jewelry polishing cloth
- Baking soda and aluminum foil
- Plate jewelry cleaner
The mentioned items can be used for light and deep cleaning.
Method 1- Deep cleaning
This method is often applicable where the silver-plated jewelry is heavily tarnished. At the end of the cleaning process, the silver plating is normally left unharmed since it’s chemical reactions working to remove the tarnish.
1.Take a bowl and cover the inside with an aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can use an aluminum pan (though not often advisable as it can interfere with the reaction between foil and baking soda/salt).
2.Into the bowl, add a tablespoon of baking soda and salt. Each of the same amount.
3.Boil some water then fill the bowl half-full with it. Hot water is essential to dissolve the baking soda and salt. The smell is unpleasant and the vapor can harm you, if you’re too close. Maintain a reasonable distance.
4.Stir the contents in the bowl to evenly mix them. The mixing creates a reaction which is able to get rid of the tarnishes from the silver.
5.Immerse the silver-plated jewelry in the solution. The water in this situation is hot, thus, use a tong to lower the jewelry. Or, hold on to it carefully while submerging- in order to not get burnt.
6.Let the jewelry sit for approximately 10 minutes or more depending on the stain. In some instances, the tarnishes will disappear almost instantly. Others could be stubborn. In the latter case, continue adding more hot water, baking soda and salt till the tarnish dissolves completely.
7.Remove the jewelry and rinse it with clean and cool water. This is done to remove any residual particles of the tarnish or salt plus baking soda. Afterwards, dry it with a lint-free cloth and confirm that there’s no dampness left.
Method 2- Light Cleaning
You’ll need to do a light cleaning once you see some signs of tarnish. A mere soap and water should do the trick.
- Put some warm water in a container.
- Add a mild soap and create a foamy solution.
- Immerse the jewelry and let it soak for about 10 minutes. While in the water, use a soft cloth to gently scrape of the tarnish. Also, you a use soft-bristled tooth brush to cover each groove in the jewelry.
- Remove the silver-plated jewelry once clean.
- Rinse in warm water and dry. Use a lint-free cloth to thoroughly wipe it off before its storage.
The dons of cleaning
There are times when you can go a little overboard. Perhaps decide to aggressively deal with stains. The consequences to this are devastating. Here are a few things you should NOT consider during your cleaning.
An abrasive cloth or cleaner when used to remove tarnishes can work effectually. However, the roughness may damage the silver-plate making it flake off.
It is not recommended for cleaning despite having preferable cleaning properties. It contains silica that can end up scratching the silver-plated jewelry.
Preventing your jewelry from tarnishing.
Now that we’ve learnt how to clean and what to avoid when cleaning, how about we know some ways of preventing the tarnishes from re-appearing?
How you store your jewelry matters a lot. Exposure to simple things such as the one mentioned below can hugely affect the quality of your jewelry.
Exposing chemicals such as chlorine and household detergent can worsen the damaged situation of the jewelry. Hence, it’s advisable to avoid putting on the silver-plated jewelries when working with chemicals.
Solution; use anti-tarnish strips. They are super absorbent and get rids of any moisture that may reach the jewelry. You can also use a Ziploc bag after ensuring before sealing, the air is removed.
Keeping it dry
A silver-plated jewelry can easily tarnish when in contact with moisture and liquids. Liquid contact includes lotions, washing of hands, spraying perfumes, body oils or even sweating on your jewels.
Solution; wipe them dry at all times
Jewelry protectant spray
This spray acts as a protective shield and prevents all elements of tarnishing. They can also protect against allergies such as skin irritation.
There’s always a favorite jewelry that suits every occasion and outfit. The compulsion to use it most times can be overwhelming, but, interchanging jewelries is prudent. Yes, you do know how to clean it. Eventually, it becomes worn out due to constant cleaning and use.
All in all, a well-kept silver-plated jewelry can last you a long time when you properly take care of it. Do follow or read through the instructions. Upon completion or experimentation, kindly comment down below on your experience.
A brief summary to a recommended cleaning method;
- Cover the inside of a bowl with an aluminum foil.
- Place a tablespoon of baking powder and salt in it.
- Add hot water into the solutes.
- Mix to dissolve uniformly.
- Immerse the jewelry.
- Wait for 10 minutes or more (depending on degree of tarnish).
- Take it out when done.
- Rinse with clean water, dry and store safely.
Here’s a video in which the jewelry can be professionally cleaned.