Some of our bridal jewelry is made with sterling silver. Most of our ear wires, chains, and clasps are sterling, and over time, sterling silver will begin to tarnish. Luckily, it is easy to clean sterling silver jewelry to get it back to it’s original shining condition.
In the studio, we use polishing cloths and store our sterling silver chains in sealed plastic bags with anti tarnish strips. These are available at drugstores, jewelry stores, online, or superstores like walmart or target.
3M makes non tarnish strips that can be stored in your jewelry box with your precious metal jewelry, and keeps your jewelry tarnish free for up to 6 months. In the studio, we like to use these polishing cloths for any chain or findings that do become tarnished over time.
Recently I discovered a method of removing tarnish that I just had to share because the results are quite spectacular… and it’s actually kind of fun to do. You’ll need baking soda, boiling water, aluminum foil, and a glass or plastic dish/container. NOTE: Do not use this method for gemstone jewelry, as it can damage certain stones like turquoise. This is best for cleaning sterling silver and crystal jewelry.
Line the glass or plastic container with aluminum foil. Next, lay your tarnished jewelry on top. Cover it with a layer of baking soda.
Next you will pour the boiling water over the baking soda. Pour enough to immerse all of the jewelry. It will start to bubble up and you’ll smell a sulphuric odor (like rotten eggs). Now you just need to move the pieces around so that all surfaces of the silver touch the aluminum. You can do this with a plastic or wooden utensil. The sterling silver will now be bright and new. Rinse it with tap water, pat dry with a towel, and store it in a moisture free environment.