Best Way to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry


Author: Gabrielle Marks
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Summary: This recipe is hands-down the best way to clean sterling silver jewelry or anything that is silver. It involves a natural chemical reaction that isn’t abrasive.

Tags: Best way to clean sterling silver jewelry, how to clean silver, cleaning sterling silver, aluminum silver reaction, what is tarnish.

This very simple cleaning process is the best way to clean sterling silver jewelry or anything that is silver. It gently removes the tarnish with a natural chemical reaction without having to scrub the tarnish off, which over time can diminish the quality of your silver.

Sterling Silver Jewelry Cleaner Recipe

You will need:

• Plastic Bowl
• Aluminum Foil
• 1 Gallon Hot Water
• 1 Cup Baking Soda

Line a large plastic bowl with aluminum foil and place in the sink. Place your sterling silver on the aluminum foil. Add the hot water and the baking soda. Within minutes, you should see the tarnish being pulled from the silver to the aluminum.

Tips: Adding salt may help to speed the process.

How the Chemical Reaction Works

Silver is a precious metal because it is impervious to the elements and does not oxidize like other metals such as iron that rusts. Instead, it will react with the ozone and hydrogen sulfide or sulfur in the surrounding air, which will form silver sulfide, better known as tarnish.

In order to remove this coating created by this chemical reaction, you simply need to reverse the process. The trick is to find a metal that is more attractive to the sulfur. In this case, it is aluminum.

When the two metals, the silver and the aluminum foil, touch each other, there occurs an electrochemical reaction as the two metals pass an electric current flow between them.

Did You Know?

Scrubbing your silver with harsh abrasives, even those that are sold commercially, not only removes the layer of tarnish but wears down the silver.

Did You Know?

Silver tarnishes much more quickly today than it did centuries ago because there is much more sulfur in the atmosphere?

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Works Cited

Dartmouth College
"Silver FAQ - Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program"
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~toxmetal/toxic-metals/more-metals/silver-faq.html

Science is Fun in the Lab of Shakhashiri
"Remove Tarnish from Silver"
http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/homeexpts/tarnish.html

Joost Elffers Books
"Clean: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing"
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"Best Way to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/best-way-to-clean-sterling-silver-jewelry.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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