jewellery care

How to Clean Sterling silver with Baking Soda and Aluminum

Sterling silver reacts with moisture to create a layer of tarnish or oxidation on its surface. Baking soda activated by boiling water in the presence of aluminum, will dislodge the tarnish by making it bind with the aluminum, leaving the sterling silver clean and shiny again. This is the simple, organic way to clean and polish your sterling silver jewelry.

Things You’ll Need

Baking soda, aluminum foil, glass or plastic dish

Steps

1  Boil just enough water to submerge all of the sterling silver pieces.

2  Line a glass or plastic dish with a slightly crumpled piece of aluminum foil.

3  Lay your jewelry on the aluminum, making sure the silver touches the aluminum.

4  Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the jewelry.

Pour enough boiling water to immerse the jewelry. Bubbling should occur, giving off a rotten-egg odor (the sulfuric    gases released by the cleaning action).

6  Move the pieces around gentle with a wood or plastic utensil to ensure that all of the silver surfaces come in contact with the aluminum. You will notice that the silver has become bright again.

7 Rinse the jewelry under tap water. To ensure that you don’t lose small pieces like earrings and pendants, put a sieve over the drain to catch whatever may slip off your fingers.

8 Wipe the pieces gently with an absorbent towel and polish with a soft cloth.

Warning

This cleaning method is only for sterling silver. Do not clean any plated jewellery or immerse any gemstones, as there may be a corrosive effect.

Other Cleaning Methods

Storing your jewellery in airtight ziplock bags will slow down the tarnish process.

Use a store bought polish cloth or cleaner.