Sunday, November 6, 2011

How to clean your silver jewelry (update)

Last weekend I was talking about How to clean your silver jewelry. In the meantime, having to clean a bracelet of mine (really really old), I found yet another way to clean it - and a wonderful one at that! I have tested it: it really works :)

The method is very simple and involves no brushing your jewelry or items with anything. It is based on a chemical reaction between the tarnish and baking soda, pretty much the same reaction that makes tooth paste work (after all, tooth paste is... baking soda :)).

ToDo list - How to clean your silver jewelry :: All the Pretty Things
First - take a container that's large enough to allow your piece to comfortable lay on its bottom. Line the container with tin foil (you need the real aluminum) and lay your silver piece on top, making sure the silver touches the aluminum.

In the meantime, boil some water with salt (exactly like you'd prepare pasta) - enough water to completely cover the piece in the container. Once the water is boiling remove it from heat and carefully pour the baking soda (about 1 cup of baking soda to about 4L of water); make sure it is completely dissolved. Be careful - the soda will frost, and might spill.

Pour the baking soda & saline solution over your jewelry piece and watch (literally) how the tarnish is getting removed.

This is by far the best way to clean your pieces. Why? Because it is a chemical reaction that leaves the silver untouched, by simply removing the tarnish. A short chemical explanation is: the tarnish is a chemical mix between silver and sulfur (called sulfide, in our case - silver sulfide). Other metals combine with sulfur, and aluminum is one of them. The attraction between aluminum and sulfur is greater than the one between silver and sulfur, thus the sulfur is leaving the silver, and no silver is being harmed in the process.

Chemistry was my favourite subject in school :) can you tell?

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