People use silver for different purposes for several thousand years. It can be jewelry, silverware and decor. Silver products are beautiful and durable. Nevertheless, this metal has one unpleasant feature – over time it begins to darken. Clean jewelry from black stains is not so difficult with the help of improvised means. Consider how to clean tarnished silver at home.
Why is the silver turning black? This is a chemical reaction – the oxidation of metal under the influence of sulfur compounds (available in water, air, sweat, cosmetics, etc.). This process happens all the time. Prevent tarnishing only if you store silverware under sterile conditions. Jewelry silver is an alloy of silver and copper, and the larger the proportion of copper, the faster the product oxidizes and, accordingly, darkens.
The cleaning process is the removing stains, formed as a result of the oxidation of metals, by using detergents. It is better to give tarnished silver to jewelers. They have special chemical compounds that can remove tarnish. At home, it is dangerous to use them.
Also, the people have identified some improvised means that can cope with this problem. The method of cleaning silver depends on how the product is made. It can be completely silver, have inserts with stones or be gilded.
Experienced housewives made a top of improvised means that will effectively clean the tarnished silver to shine and not scratch it:
- Ammonia alcohol. Mix the solution from 1 tbsp. ammonia and 1 liter of water. In it, immerse the silver jewelry for 15 minutes. After that, wipe the product to be cleaned with a soft rag.
- Lemon juice. Prepare a container with a saturated solution of citric acid or lemon juice. Dip cutlery or jewelry in the solution for 5 minutes. Remove and wipe with flannel cloth.
- Potatoes. Put the tarnished product in water with grated raw potatoes and leave to soak for the night. Potato starch reacts with the darkened layer on silver, and it will be easy to remove, wiping with a damp rag or cotton wool.
- Foil for baking. Cut out a strip of foil and put it on the bottom of the container. Pour 2 tbsp. salt or soda, put the silver in a container and fill it with water. Already after 30 minutes, as a result of the chemical reaction between silver and aluminum, complete cleaning will be performed.
- Salt. Pour a glass of water into the pan and add 1 tsp. salt. Place the silverware or jewelry for a couple of hours. After cleaning with a soft sponge, remove stains.
- Toothpaste. To clean any toothpaste or powder. With the help of an old brush, we put the product on a tarnished silver product, rub it a little and rinse it with water.
Nuances of cleaning silver products with stones
Quite often silver things are decorated with stones. They make the decoration more beautiful and refined. From oxidation and tarnishing, stones are not saved, but to clean silver becomes more difficult. What to do:
- Cleaning products can be bought at any jewelry store. Their special composition is not capable of damaging stones or the metal.
- You can use a soapy solution. Take the shred of household soap, dilute it in warm water and, with a soft rag, wash the silver.
- There is another option for using a soap solution with a few drops of ammonia. Such a mixture must be heated and allowed to cool. Then take a soft toothbrush or cotton swab, soak them in a cooled mixture of ammonia and soap, and brush them on the surface near the stone.
Thinness in cleaning gilded silver
If you have a silver product with gilded inserts, the next moment should be taken into account – it is strictly forbidden to use abrasives!
- You can clean it with a cotton swab dampened with turpentine or ethyl alcohol.
- Vinegar is suitable. But do not forget to wash it after 5 minutes, and wipe the product with wool or suede.
Take a note
- more often wipe silver objects – this will save your jewelry from sebum, moisture, which provoke tarnishing;
- do not experiment with mixtures and solutions if you are not sure of their effectiveness;
- protect jewelry with stones from getting on them cosmetic products, because the sulfur they contain contributes to the appearance of blackness on the metal;
- remove jewelry during cleaning in the apartment;
- silver products with gilding regularly clean with suede;
- store silver jewelry recommended in a jewelry box and separate from jewelry or gold.
We hope that our advice will help you, and you will only get pleasure from your jewelry, because silver always remains in the trend. It meets all the canons of the classics, in demand, desired and beautiful in its unprincipled rigor!