How to Clean Silver That Has Turned Black
When silver is exposed to chemicals, moisture, or air containing sulfur, it may turn black. The color of oxidized silver is not permanent and it can be removed by following certain steps, including keeping the jewelry away from humidity, storing in an airtight container or bag, and using a cloth that is only used on silver.
1. Vinegar and baking soda: Mix a solution of vinegar and baking soda to remove tarnish from your silver.
This cleaning method is a classic and works well on both silverware and jewelry.
Combine equal parts of distilled white vinegar and baking soda in a small container. Soak the tarnished items in the mixture for fifteen minutes and then rinse them thoroughly. Dry the items with a soft cloth to prevent damage.
2. Salt and foil: This cleaning method is a great way to clean tarnished silver because it uses ion exchange to transfer molecules from the jewelry to the foil.
You can use this method to get rid of tarnish on your silver rings, bracelets and necklaces. Line a shallow dish with aluminum foil and pour hot water into it. Add salt and a tablespoon of baking soda and stir.
Drop your silver pieces into the dish and allow them to soak for about a minute. After a few seconds, you should see a chemical reaction taking place in the foil that is removing the tarnish from your silver. Rinse your silverware and jewelry with warm water, then wipe them dry with a soft cloth.
3. Cornstarch: This cleaning method also works on tarnished silver, but it requires a different type of product.
In addition to bringing shine back to your silver, cornstarch has a number of other uses in the home. Combined with water, it makes a paste to coat tarnished areas of your jewelry and bring them back to a bright shine.
4. Toothpaste: This is a little less abrasive than other cleaners, and it does work. However, it’s important to test it on a very small portion of the jewelry before you use it on the entire item.
This cleaning method also requires a very small amount of toothpaste, so it’s a good idea to test it out on a very small portion of the jewelry to ensure that it will not scratch or corrode your precious silver.
5. Pickle: This cleaning method is a bit more time-consuming than other methods, but it does a great job of getting rid of tarnish on your silver.
This is a great method to clean silver that has accumulated tarnish over time, especially for rings and bracelets, as it does a thorough job of removing the tarnish without stripping the metal of its finish. It can be particularly useful for removing tarnish from the edges of your rings and necklaces, as it can help to protect your jewelry from scratches and dings.