If you are a fan of silver then you probably know the torments of those who wear silver jewelry or have silver items in the house, including silver cutlery, or some decorative boxes and figures, face. Silver is a white metal element, harder than gold, but softer than copper. When it comes to precious metals, it occupies the solid second place right after gold. Silver is represented by the symbol Ag on the Periodic Table of the Elements and is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Historically, silver played a prominent role in the production of jewelry and valuable items and was usually mixed with other metals to gets harder structure and maintain the desired shape and attributed details.
Today, silver is relatively cheap compared to other precious metals such as gold or platinum. This might give the wrong impression that silver is not an overly significant metal, but this is the wrong conclusion. In fact, throughout history, silver has been more valuable than gold. When we examine the amounts of silver used in jewelry, its use is much greater than all other precious metals. This versatile white metal has also triggered far more technological advances in the field of mining and metallurgy than other precious metals. Entire economies depended on its availability, and access to silver sources was a reason to even start wars during the previous times. Silver is without a doubt one of the most important metals for the mankind.
However, this beautiful metal has a few flaws. Silver jewelry and silver cutlery lose their luster over time and can turn black. The reason for this is the chemical reaction that is created between silver and sulfur in the air. Most silver jewelry and accessories today are coated with a very thin layer of rhodium to protect the metal and make it brighter and shinier. However, this thin protective layer wears out, which makes it easier for silver to darken. In fact, silver jewelry or silver items react not only to sulfur in the air. Tanning is also enhanced through a contact with perfumes, cosmetics, hairsprays, hand creams, natural skin sebum, and even some foods in case of dishes and cutlery. Thus, several factors affect the darkening of silver and loss of luster. Fortunately, there are a few simple and inexpensive ways to remove stains, polish, and clean silver that we will talk about next.
1. Aluminum foil with baking soda
This is one of the best recipes we have, and this is why we placed it first. Using aluminum foil and baking soda is very practical, especially when you need to clean more things or larger items such as silver cutlery, candlesticks, or dishes. Place aluminum foil on the bottom of a large baking sheet. Use a ceramic or glass pan, not a metal one, to avoid unwanted chemical reactions. Then fill it with water and add baking soda. For every gallon of water, 1.5 tablespoons of soda should be added. Let it all boil and put the darkened silver inside for 15 seconds. When done, you can remove the silver using kitchen tongs. Leave the silverware on a paper towel to cool down. You will see that all black spots have magically disappeared. If the silver has not been cleaned for a long time, you may need to repeat the procedure. However, we advise you not to use this recipe for jewelry that contains precious stones, such as rings, for example. We are great fans of silver rings and highly suggest you check out some wonderful pieces here eandejewellery.com.
This is a classic and simple recipe for cleaning silver items that you can apply without anyone’s help and which will cost you almost nothing. Use a paste that is not tooth gel and is not abrasive. Squeeze a small amount on a soft cloth or a kitchen towel. Rub jewelry or silverware in a circular motion to polish and clean stains. Leave it for 5 minutes, then rinse the paste with water. After this procedure, the silver will be pure and shiny – like new. If the silver has been dark for a long time or has not been cleaned efficiently, you may have to repeat this procedure several times, but we hope this will not be your case.
3. Windows cleaning detergent
The windows cleaner works great not only on glass surfaces, but it also removes dirt and restores the shine of your precious silver. Spray a little of detergent on a cloth and start scrubbing your jewels or silverware. Gently scrub around small details and decorations with a soft toothbrush. Never use this recipe on antique silverware such as cutlery, candlesticks, jewelry – antiques can be very fragile. If you need to clean antique silver, you better invest in a specialized product. So, this cleaning advice only applies to newer pieces of silver or jewelry that is a couple of decades old.
You may not have thought that this popular drink could have other purposes, but it is does. Yes, you read that right, Coca-Cola can help your silver ring, bracelet, or necklace shine again. You will get rid of the blackness from your favorite items by pouring a bit of Coca-Cola into a bowl while immersing the jewelry for 10 minutes. When this time has passed, take it out and rub the jewelry with a cloth. The results should be really great. However, like the previously discussed detergent, this method is only recommended for newer silver pieces that are only a few years old.
For those whose favorite drink does not include Coca-Cola, we are here to suggest something even better – beer! Of course, only as a means of cleaning silver items. The procedure is the same as with Coca-Cola. Dip the jewelry into a container of beer and wait for 5 to 10 minutes. Jewelry should be brighter and shinier after the treatment. This procedure can be repeated if you are not satisfied with the result.
Silver jewelry and belongings are often related to special moments in our lives and often recall wonderful memories. It is not surprising that we want these special things to look clean and shiny forever. We hope that this little guide we provided will be helpful and that it will bring back the shine to your wonderful silver belongings!