How To Clean Silver Jewelry: Safe Methods Explained

Silver jewelry pieces provide you with a unique combination of class and luxury. The classy silver metal is highly delicate and gets damaged easily if not maintained well.  Being proactive while handling these pieces is the only method to best care for them.

You should not wait until your silver jewelry gets tarnished or discolored, instead, take measures to maintain them beforehand. However, among the multiple methods and techniques available for cleaning these jewelry pieces, it’s hard to rely on one. 

If you also want to learn how to clean silver jewelry using the safest methods, then this guide is for you. Here, you can learn different methods to clean silver jewelry, certain mistakes to avoid, and additional expert tips. Let’s delve into the intricacies of clean and well-maintained jewelry pieces. 

What To Know About Your Silver Jewelry?

Silver is a precious metal used specifically in jewelry creation. Silver is known for its luster and versatility. Pure silver is extremely soft when it comes to jewelry-making, it is often mixed with other metals. Copper is mixed with pure silver to give durable sterling silver.

Silver jewelry has a significant place in numerous cultures and societies. They are used to create numerous jewelry types suitable for special occasions and daily wear. Silver jewelry pieces are the perfect epitome of timeless elegance. Silver is also divided into three different types and those are:

  • Pure Silver: It contains 99% of silver. Being pure quality, it’s quite delicate and expensive. This is the reason why it’s not used in the jewelry-making process. 
  • Sterling Silver: Pure silver is often mixed with copper to create sterling silver. The quantity of copper remains 7% and this is the main reason for tarnished silver ornaments. However, this is a durable silver type and can be cleaned using some exceptional methods. 
  • Silver-plated: When it comes to silver-plated jewelry, it’s just a thin silver layer spread all around the alternative metals like copper, bronze, brass, etc. This type of jewelry is lightweight and needs gentle cleaning. 

Common Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid

While learning how to clean silver jewelry, you also focus on some common cleaning mistakes to avoid. We’ve elaborated on some of the most common mistakes in the following points:

  • Neglect the use of abrasive and harsh cleaners like toothpaste, etc. Such cleansers can cause irreversible damage to your silver jewelry. 
  • As silver-plated jewelry is delicate, it can absorb water if you immerse it for prolonged periods. Also, avoid using ultrasonic cleaners as they will cause discoloration and deterioration of the precious material. 
  • Tarnish is an organic oxidation system that happens on silver jewelry over time. Ignoring tarnish buildup can boost corrosion and dull the silver jewelry’s shine. Regularly inspect and clean the silver pieces to save tarnish from turning ingrained.
  • The intricate settings of your silver jewelry may trap dirt and debris over the years impacting the shine of the metal. Pay attention to the crevices and settings of the pieces during the cleaning process to ensure all areas are well-polished and free from buildup. 
  • While DIY cleaning methods are effective, you should not neglect professional cleaning requirements. Take all your jewelry pieces for professional cleaning once in a while. This will let them have a specialized cleaning regimen. 

How To Clean Silver Jewelry 

It’s time to delve into the cleaning guide for your silver jewelry. The following sections contain multiple cleaning methods and tips for your silver jewelry pieces. You can opt for the most suitable methods according to your specific needs and requirements. 

The Required Cleaning Tools

The tools you might require during the cleaning process include the following items:

  • Toothbrush 
  • Soft-bristled Brush 
  • Large Bowl
  • Microfiber Cloth 
  • Dish Soap
  • Baking Soda 
  • Pan 
  • Aluminum Foil 
  • Commercial Silver Cleaner
  • Fresh Lemon Juice 
  • Kosher Salt 

Using Baking Soda And Aluminum Foil

The first method in the list of cleaning silver jewelry remains with the use of baking soda and aluminum foil. The steps you need to opt for are:


  • Take a small bowl and line it with aluminum foil. Ensure that the foil is placed evenly.
  • Now, take all your jewelry pieces and keep them in the aluminum foil. 
  • Sprinkle a moderate amount of baking soda all over the jewelry pieces ensuring that each part is covered appropriately.
  • In a separate bowl, take some water till it reaches the boiling point. Pour the entire boiled water into the jewelry-containing bowl. 
  • Let the jewelry submerge completely into the boiling water. Allow 5 to 10 minutes to soak all of the silver jewelry pieces.
  • After that take a soft brush and start scrubbing the surface to remove dirt particles and tarnish. Be gentle during this process and scrub in circular motions. 
  • Once you’re satisfied with the cleaning process, you may give the jewelry pieces a final rinse. Remember to use warm water for rinsing. 

Using Lemon Juice And Salt

You can also clean your silver jewelry even with the use of lemon juice and salt. Here are the steps to help you that:

  • Take a small bowl and mix equal parts of fresh lemon juice and water in the same bowl. 
  • Add a pinch of salt to the solution and stir the solution until it dissolves completely. 
  • Place your silver jewelry into the solution. You need to prepare a sufficient amount of solution. This is important to fully submerge the silver jewelry pieces.
  • Let the jewelry soak for no more than ten minutes. Exceeding the suggested time can impact the overall shine and luster of your jewelry.
  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently scrub the jewelry to remove tarnish. Don’t put extra pressure as it can cause scratches and damage at the same time. 
  • Rinse the jewelry under warm water and dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth. You need to avoid using any additional heat sources to speed up the process.
  • Doing so can impact the integrity, shine, and luster of the silver jewelry pieces. 

Also Read : How to Clean Antique Jewelry

Commercial Silver Cleaner Method

If you don’t want to opt for the DIY methods, you may also use the commercial silver cleaner to effectively clean the silver jewelry. Here’s how to clean silver jewelry using commercial cleaner:

  • Purchase a commercial silver cleaner from a jewelry store or supermarket.
  • Read and follow the instructions provided on the cleaner’s packaging carefully.
  • You’ll need to apply the cleaner to a soft cloth or sponge and gently rub it onto the silver jewelry.
  • Allow the cleaner to sit on the jewelry for the recommended amount of time. This will not exceed ten minutes. 
  • Rinse the jewelry thoroughly under warm water to remove any residue from the cleaner. Consider giving multiple rinses to the jewelry so that no trace of cleanser is left on the surface. 
  • At last, take steps to dry the jewelry with a soft cloth. You may also use paper towels and normal cleaning towels.
  • Before storing the pieces, make certain the cleaner and water traces are not left on them. 

How To Store Silver Jewelry 

It’s time to store your cleaned silver jewelry but are you aware of the right methods to do so? If not, then the following tips and suggestions will guide you through the storage process. Don’t forget that optimal storage maintains the integrity and luster of your jewelry

  • Consider storing your silver jewelry in anti-tarnishing pouches, clothes, or bags. These are specifically designed to prevent tarnish buildup. They are also perfect for minimizing moisture and air exposure. 
  • You must avoid keeping your jewelry around humid environments like bathrooms, or other moisture-retaining areas. Moisture is responsible for tarnishing so it’s always suggested to store the silver jewelry in dry places.
  • You can also keep each jewelry piece separately. This will protect your jewelry from scratching and other potential damage. Use individual drawers or pouches for this purpose.
  • Place silica gel packs or moisture-absorbing packets in your jewelry storage place to help manage humidity and prevent tarnishing. These packs can absorb excess moisture and allow a dry place for the jewelry pieces.
  • Before storing your silver jewelry, ensure it’s clean and dry. Use a tender cloth to gently wipe away any dust, oils, or residue. This simple step eliminates the risk of tarnishing and continues to keep your jewelry optimal even when they are stored. 

Also Read : How to Clean German Silver?

Final Words: How To Clean Silver Jewelry

Keeping your silver jewelry is not a daunting task. However, they highly demand special attention and even more personalized care. Learning how to clean silver jewelry using some simple and effective methods makes this task even easier.

The straightforward cleaning steps are the key to well-maintained jewelry pieces. No longer worry about the lost luster and shine of your favorite jewelry. Incorporate these methods and tricks to get aesthetically pleasing silver jewelry pieces for occasional and even regular use.

Carrie N. Thomas

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