How to clean silver jewellery

After making a purchase of one of our sterling silver treasures, you may be wondering the best way to maintain its radiant lustre for the years to come. Silver is such a nifty and adaptable metal, with a beautiful subtle shine that suits a huge range of styles. Because of its delicate nature, silver can be susceptible to tarnishing, staining or small scratches on its surface. Read on to find out how to clean silver jewellery safely and effectively.

There are several good ways to clean your silver jewellery depending on how tarnished it is:

The first method involves making a salt bath to soak your silver jewellery in. This method is suitable for lightly tarnished or stained jewellery.

  • Measure two cups of hot water and pour into a bowl. Make sure there’s enough water to cover the jewellery completely. You can use less or more depending on the number of treasures you’re cleaning.
  • Stir one tablespoon of salt into the boiling water. Make sure the salt dissolves completely.
  • Tear up a few small pieces of tinfoil and put them into the bowl as well. Amazingly, the salt and the aluminium will react together to remove the dull tarnish off the surface of your silver jewellery and replace it with a beautiful shine!
  • Add your jewellery to the bowl, stir gently and leave to work for 5 minutes. You may want to check on it earlier to see if the solution is working. Make sure the water stays warm, as once the water cools down the reaction will stop.
  • Once the tarnish has disappeared, gently rinse and dry your jewellery with a soft cloth. Rough cloths may damage the surface further.
  • Heavily tarnished styles may need this process repeated a few times to full regain their natural glow.

The second method, for more intensely tarnished treasures, requires simply the use of a commercial silver cleaning polish. It is best to use a polish specially made for jewellery, as more harsh polishes can strip a layer of silver from your pieces.

Apply a little polish to a soft cloth and rub along the jewellery to remove the dark tarnish. Make sure to use straight back-and-forth motions, as scrubbing in circles can damage the surface of the silver. To finish, rinse and dry the silver as before.

Always keep in mind that home cleaning methods may damage precious gemstones or extremely delicate jewellery. If in doubt, it’s certainly best to take your precious collection to a professional to make sure there aren’t any unexpected outcomes. 

To keep your silver jewellery looking its best, make sure to clean it often and well, and store it in a suitable bag or wrapped in acid-free tissue paper. Following these simple steps means your silver will shine at all times!