The darkening of silver is a chemical process that silver undergoes. Although pieces that are plated with rhodium or gold have extra protection, it is quite likely that with continued use they will also begin to darken. This loss of original color is due to contact of the silver with other elements, such as oxygen in the air. One of the main darkening agents is sulfur, which when in contact with silver forms silver sulfide. Our own body also accelerates the oxidation process, being in constant chemical reaction. One of these reactions is sweat, composed of water and mineral salts, compounds that in contact with the surface of the jewelry, react and cause the formation of a dark layer.

At Dicci we have several silver accessories. So we want to show you some ways to clean them and remove the dark appearance, so your jewelry will always look shiny.

  • Cloths

Silver can be easily scratched, so be careful when cleaning your pieces. When polishing, use broad strokes across the grain of the silver and do not rub in circles, also change the section of the cloth frequently to avoid tarnishing the silver. You can use a special silver cloth, but a lint-free flannel, microfiber or soft cloth will also do the same job.

  • Water and Soap

Warm water and a mild, ammonia- and phosphate-free soap is a great solution when polishing alone has not been effective. This is one of the least evasive methods, if polishing is not enough, you should use this before any other.

  • Toothpaste

Toothpaste is a good polishing product for oxidized silver. First wash your pieces with a mild soap. Then use a cotton pad to wipe the toothpaste across the piece for polishing purposes. At the end, clean your pieces under running water and dry them well with a soft cloth.

  • Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

Mix 1/2 cup of lemon juice with a teaspoon of olive oil. Dip a soft cloth or microfiber cloth into the solution and then make broad strokes to polish the silver. At the end, rinse under running water and polish again with a dry cloth.

  • Baking Soda, Salt, and Aluminum Foil

Line a bowl with aluminum foil with the dull side facing down. Bring water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and salt. Stir the solution to allow everything to dissolve, it is very important that there are no grains so as not to scratch the silver. Place your pieces in the bowl. Wait 5 to 10 minutes and remove them. Rinse the jewelry under running water and at the end you should polish and dry it with a soft cloth.

  • Specific Products for Cleaning Silver

There are also specific products for cleaning silver that can be bought in supermarkets.

 After using any cleaner, be sure to rinse the silver thoroughly under running water. This is very important, especially for engraved or detailed pieces, because in addition to preventing tarnishing, the materials can stick in crevices and harden.

These methods are not for all types of silver jewelry. This means that you should not completely wash jewelry with pearls or stones in these mixtures, because it can damage them.

Francisca Figueiredo