How Do You Clean Silver Jewelry at Home?


Quick Answer

The gentlest and least harmful way to clean silver jewelry is to apply diluted non-phosphate, citrus-free dish soap, such as Dawn Original Non-Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid, and then rinse in warm water and buff dry with a soft 100-percent cotton cloth. Additional safe, nonabrasive cleaners for silver include Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar, Method Glass and Surface Cleaner, and Purell Original Formula Hand Sanitizer.

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Full Answer

When the tarnish is heavier and silver polish is needed, use a polish specifically designed to clean silver, as silver is softer than other metals and more easily scratched and damaged. Blitz Silver Care Polish and Earth Friendly Silver Polish are two good brands. Never use paper towels for drying silver, as they cause scratches in the finish. Take extra care when dealing with silver plate, and never soak the silver as it may cause irreparable damage.

Many of the silver-cleaning methods found online can actually cause harm to silver, in some cases making it impossible to clean and in others leading to scratches in the finish. Toothpaste and baking soda paste are commonly referred to as safe ways to remove tarnish from silver, but they leave minute scratches that ruin the finish and lower the silver's value. Similarly, the method of cleaning silver using aluminum foil, baking soda and hot water makes the silver's surface more porous and prone to tarnishing more quickly.

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