How To Clean Silver Jewelry: The Best Ways To Clean And Prevent Tarnish
Alicia Briggs | March 9, 2023
Alicia Briggs | March 9, 2023
Real silver jewelry should last a lifetime, but unlike other types of metals, silver is particularly prone to tarnishing. Knowing how to clean silver jewelry is essential to preserve its beauty. Thankfully, it’s not hard to learn how to clean jewelry. Read on for how to clean different types of silver jewelry at home as well as how to store and polish your silver.
Book an appointment with our VRAI Diamond Experts for personalized assistance in choosing the best VRAI created silver jewelry for you.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Silver?
The best way to clean your silver jewelry will depend on if it needs a light cleaning or if it’s tarnished, as well as what kind of jewelry it is. The best ways to clean your silver jewelry at home are detailed below.
How To Clean Silver Jewelry At Home
The best way to clean silver jewelry at home is by using what we call the Light Wash method. This simple solution only requires common household items and a minimal amount of time.
The Light Wash method:
- In a clean bowl or dish, combine 1 tsp of mild dishwashing soap of your choice with 1 cup of warm water.
- Wait until the dish soap is fully dissolved, then place your jewelry into the bowl. If you’re cleaning multiple pieces of silver jewelry, make sure the bowl is big enough so the jewelry can soak without rubbing against each other.
- Let your silver jewelry soak for 15-30 minutes.
- Gently remove the silver and then lightly scrub with a soft, microfiber cloth until clean. For certain pieces of silver jewelry, you may want to gently wipe instead of scrub.
- Rinse off your silver jewelry with clean, room-temperature water then let dry on a clean, soft cloth.
What Is The Best Home Remedy To Clean Silver?
The Light Wash method, detailed above, is the best way to clean silver jewelry at home. Not only is it easy, but it also doesn’t use any abrasive ingredients that could potentially damage your silver.
Does Baking Soda Harm Silver?
If possible, avoid using baking soda to clean silver jewelry. Baking soda is typically too abrasive for silver and it can cause damage or scratches to the metal.
What Is A Natural Way To Clean Silver?
If you’re looking for a natural and effective way to clean your silver, use a natural dishwashing soap of your choice for the Light Wash method.
How To Clean Tarnished Silver Jewelry
While silver is an incredibly popular, quality metal, all real silver will tarnish over time. Thankfully, you can clean tarnished silver jewelry and restore it to its original beauty.
The best way to clean tarnished silver jewelry at home is by using what we call the Medium Wash method:
- In a shallow bowl, mix ½ cup white vinegar, or witch hazel, with 3 drops of lemon essential oil.
- Gently place your jewelry in the bowl. If you’re cleaning multiple pieces of silver jewelry, do so separately or use a bowl that’s big enough so the jewelry doesn’t touch.
- Let the silver soak for five minutes. If it still looks dirty, carefully wipe it with a soft, microfiber cloth.
- Rinse the silver with lukewarm water, then let dry on a soft and clean towel.
Can Badly Tarnished Silver Be Cleaned?
Tarnished silver jewelry can usually be cleaned. The Medium Wash method should be effective enough to restore your silver jewelry to its original beauty.
Does Toothpaste Remove Silver Tarnish?
Just like baking soda, avoid using toothpaste on silver jewelry, even tarnished silver. Toothpaste is too abrasive for silver and may cause further damage.
Does Vinegar Tarnish Silver?
No, white vinegar will not tarnish silver. White vinegar, when used in the Medium Wash method or diluted with water, is great for cleaning tarnished silver.
How To Clean Silver Necklaces
Certain types of silver jewelry require slightly different cleaning methods. If you’re wondering how to clean silver necklaces, you’ll find the Light Wash method most effective. You can let silver necklaces sit in the solution for a little longer if needed.
You can also use the Medium Wash method if the silver is tarnished. Silver chains tend to tarnish the fastest since they are exposed to numerous materials such as lotion and perfume. You can use the same instructions to clean silver chains. Make sure to thoroughly dry your silver necklaces and chains after you clean them.
How To Clean Silver Rings
If you’re wondering how to clean sterling silver rings without damaging any diamonds that may be attached, cleaning gently is key. You can use the Light Wash method, but be particularly careful when scrubbing afterward. You can use a soft bristle toothbrush to lightly scrub any areas of the ring that are tarnished or still need to be cleaned after you soak them in the solution.
If your silver rings don’t have any diamonds attached and need a deeper clean, you can use the Medium Wash method as well. The same cleaning instructions apply for how to clean silver earrings and silver bracelets.
Does White Gold Tarnish Like Silver?
White gold and silver are often compared, as they have a similar look and are both durable, popular materials. White gold does not tarnish as silver does. It does, however, lose its color over time due to regular wear which can be mistaken for tarnish. You can prevent fading by properly caring for your white gold jewelry such as not exposing it to lotions, perfumes, or water.
All white gold engagement and wedding rings featuring VRAI created diamonds come with a Lifetime Care Package that includes complimentary redipping.
How Do You Care For Silver Jewelry?
Aside from regularly cleaning your silver jewelry (at least twice a year), you can prevent tarnishing and maintain silver’s beauty by properly caring for it. Here are a few ways to effectively care for silver jewelry:
- Wear it often: Wearing your silver regularly will help prevent tarnish. Your skin's natural oils will help preserve silver.
- Avoid harsh chemicals or friction: Remove your silver jewelry before doing any activities that will cause the silver to come into contact with chemical products, chlorine, sweat, or water. This includes swimming, cleaning, household tasks, washing your hands/body, or working out.
- Know when to remove and put on silver: Remove your jewelry before sleeping or engaging in the activities above, to prevent scratches and friction. When putting on silver jewelry, do so last. This will help avoid contact with perfume, hair products, or makeup, which can all damage silver.
How To Keep Silver From Tarnishing In A Jewelry Box
Storing your silver jewelry properly is one of the best ways to prevent tarnish. Silver should be stored in a room temperature, dark, air-tight place. If you don’t have a secure container or box, consider purchasing an anti-tarnishing bag. You can also use anti-tarnishing strips. This may be particularly helpful if you have numerous pieces of silver jewelry that aren’t worn often.
Make sure that your silver jewelry is stored in a way that it doesn’t touch any other jewelry, including other pieces of silver jewelry. This will prevent scratching.
How Do You Best Polish Silver?
Regularly polishing silver is another effective way to prevent tarnishing. The best way to polish silver is by using a silver polishing cloth. You can polish most pieces of silver jewelry except for delicate pieces like silver earrings or some silver rings. These could be damaged by polishing on your own.