Silver is a very soft metal and must be mixed with other stronger alloys (like copper or zinc) to make it durable enough for jewellery. It’s also very prone to tarnishing, especially as it comes into contact with sulfur components in the air. This darkening process is called tarnish and is very unsightly, but fortunately it’s easy to remove using a few common household items.
The most popular DIY silver jewellery cleaner uses a simple mixture of dish soap and water. Mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water in a bowl and dip your silver pieces into the solution for about 30 seconds. Then, rinse your jewelry with cool water and buff dry with a soft, lint-free cloth to restore the shine. This solution does leave behind a slight smell, but it’s harmless and very effective at removing tarnish.
Another easy method uses hydrogen peroxide, which is a powerful cleaning agent. Add half a cup of the liquid in a bowl of boiling water and soak your silver jewellery for about 15 minutes. Rinse your jewellery and then polish it with a soft, lint-free microfibre cloth.
This method is best suited for very light tarnishing, and won’t work on oxidised silver, or Pandora bracelets and beads with stones. Another gentle option is to use toothpaste to clean your silver, but this can wear away the surface of your jewellery and isn’t recommended for frequent use. If you’re still not happy with your jewellery’s shine, there are many ready-made silver jewellery cleaner products available for purchase at most jewelers and department stores.