How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry at Home

Written by Allison

Here’s how to clean sterling silver jewelry (easily):

As fun as sterling silver jewelry can be to collect, it does come with the hazard of tarnishing. Sterling silver, when clean, is a pretty bright silvery shade! But exposed to water, or perfumes, or lotion, or any combination of products like skin serums can cause these pretties to tarnish. Tarnish turns sterling silver jewelry into a brown-ish dark silver color. Caring for these little gems requires learning how to clean sterling silver jewelry yourself!

Tarnish is the enemy! How to clean sterling silver jewelry back to it’s former glory? A simple at home science experiment.

How To Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry Step By Step

You’ll need a bowl, aluminum foil, baking soda, salt, and hot water. These, in the correct combination, will cause a chemical reaction and the tarnish will stick to the foil, not your sterling silver.

Here’s the process:

  1. Take your bowl and line it with your foil, shiny side up.
  2. Put your sterling sliver into the bowl and cover completely with hot water.
  3. Mix together equal parts salt and baking soda (I used 1 tablespoon each).
  4. Mix the powders into the hot water.
  5. Allow to sit for five to ten minutes.
  6. Remove jewelry from water and rinse with clean, cool water.
  7. Wipe the pieces down with a soft cloth. This step is important, you want to fully dry and shine the piece without scratching it at the same time. An old tee shirt does wonders for this!

That little bit of effort and your jewelry will be shiny silver again in no time! Just be prepared for a sulfur scent to come wafting at you from this brew. It’s not entirely pleasant, but it’s a result of the chemical reaction and, hey, it tells you it’s working.

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About the author


Bio: She's a New Orleans based beauty writer, nail polish hoarder, and doughnut enthusiast. When she isn't camping out in her local coffee shop for hours on end, you'll probably find her taking selfies in front of every colorful wall she's ever seen. Follow along on Instagram @allisonmarieschmidt.

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