5 DIY Jewellery Cleaners
2 June 2015 // By Kat Atkins
As one of the most commonly worn precious metals, it’s easy to see why sterling silver jewellery is so popular. As it shines and shimmers, sterling silver exudes elegance, beauty and confidence.
Consequently the more we love and wear our favourite pieces the more likely they are to become dirty and dull. But not to worry! I have 5 easy DIY jewellery cleaners to share with you that will make cleaning sterling silver jewellery quick and affordable.
SOAP & WATER: Warm water and a mild, ammonia- and phosphate-free dishwashing soap is a basic method for cleaning tarnish, grim and grease off of your sterling silver jewellery. This basic yet effective way to clean your jewellery should be done before utilizing any of the methods listed below to ensure the loose dirty has been removed.
BAKING SODA & WATER: Make a thick paste using baking soda and water. Using a clean cloth, apply a pea-sized amount of the paste to the sterling silver piece. Use a buffering motion to polish your sterling silver. For stamped, engraved, or detailed jewellery pieces, thin the paste by adding more water and use a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush to get the paste into the cracks and crevices. Run the jewellery under warm water to remove to paste and reveal your revitalized sterling silver jewellery. Pat dry with a clean, dry cloth.
OLIVE OIL & LEMON JUICE: Mix 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1 tsp. olive oil in a large bowl that will be able to hold the cleaning solution and a small microfiber cloth. Dip the cloth in the solution and wring it out to stop any dripping, then polish the silver with the mixture for a few minutes until you notice the shine of your sterling silver returning. Rinse off your jewellery and pat dry.
WHITE VINEGAR & BAKING SODA: This gentle cleaner will help to remove heavy tarnish from sterling silver which prevents effective polishing. Soak the tarnished piece of sterling silver jewellery in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tbsp. baking soda (there will be fizzing!) for 2-3 hours. After soaking, rinse your jewellery in warm water and pat dry. This mixture is very effective at removing tarnish, follow up with the baking soda and water mixture to bring back the full shine of your sterling silver.
BAKING SODA, SALT, ALUMINUM FOIL, & BOILING WATER: Take advantage of a simple chemical reaction to clean your sterling silver pieces: all you’ll need is some baking soda, salt, and aluminium foil. Line a glass roasting pan or the kitchen sink with aluminium foil, dull side facing down. Place the sterling silver pieces on top of the aluminium foil. Pour boiling water over the pieces until they are covered, add 2 tbsp. each of baking soda and salt. Stir the solution to allow the baking soda to dissolve — you don’t want any granules scratching the metal.
The reaction causes the tarnish to transfer to the foil, and in about 5-10 minutes you’ll see the tarnish “magically” disappear from your jewellery. (WARNING: there will be a smell of rotten eggs as the sulphide tarnish comes off the sterling silver). Using tongs remove the sterling silver jewellery from the hot water. Rinse the jewellery under warm water, then buff and dry with a soft cloth. Voila! Your loved sterling silver jewellery will be sparkling clean and ready to keep you looking fabulous!
One Leaf loves the idea of taking care of business at home, but if you’re looking for an easy-to-use cleaning product, check out these One Leaf favourites.