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How To Clean Silver Plated Jewelry (And How To Protect Your Jewelry From Tarnish!)

How To Clean Silver Plated Jewelry (And How To Protect Your Jewelry From Tarnish!)

Adding silver plated jewelry to your outfit is a great way to add in some sparkle to your overall look. However, keep in mind that if not properly cared for, silver plated jewelry can tarnish and lose its brilliant appearance. Silver plated jewelry has a very lustrous appearance, but, when it reacts with oxygen and moisture, it can oxidize. Though you can take it to get professionally cleaned, this can be expensive, time-consuming and ultimately unnecessary. Fortunately, you probably have all the items you’d need to clean your silver plated jewelry at home!

If you are looking for ways to put the gleam back into your silver plated jewelry and for how to clean silver plated jewelry, you’re in luck! Keep reading for all of Sincerely Silver’s tips & tricks for how to clean silver plated jewelry at home. For more information on cleaning other kinds of jewelry, check out our Complete Guide: How To Clean Jewelry.   

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

How To Clean Silver Plated Jewelry At Home


You Will Need:

  • Tin foil
  • Plastic bin
  • Boiling hot water
  • ~2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cloth


how to clean silver plated jewelry



Instructions:

  1. Place tin foil at bottom of plastic bin
  2. Add boiling hot water
  3. Add ~ 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  4. Add a pinch of salt
  5. Put in dirty silver plated items
  6. Rinse with water
  7. Dry with soft cloth

 

 

What Is Pure Silver Plated Jewelry?

what is pure silver plated jewelry


The phrase “pure silver plated” is a little misleading. Silver plated jewelry are jewelry items with a thin layer of sterling silver (not pure silver) on the outside. Pure silver is much too soft to form jewelry out of, so it is alloyed with other materials (such as copper, aluminum or zinc) to create sterling silver, a silver more durable for jewelry making. However, the other metals that are added to silver to create sterling silver making it more prone to tarnishing.


Pure Silver

99.99% silver

Sterling Silver

92.5% silver, 7.5% other metal

Silver Plated

Has a base metal, such as copper, and a thin layer of sterling silver (not pure silver) on the outside

Vermeil

Has a core metal of sterling silver with a thick layer of gold on the outside (at least 2.5 microns thick)


what is pure silver plated jewelry


(For more information on how to clean sterling silver jewelry, check out this post.)


Will Silver Plated Jewelry Tarnish?

will silver plated jewelry tarnish



You might be wondering, does sterling silver plated jewelry tarnish?

Your answer:

Yes, silver plated jewelry items will tarnish.

But, why is this?

Pure silver (as has already been mentioned) is too soft to form jewelry. Therefore, other metals (such as copper or brass) are added to it to create a silver alloy, or sterling silver. The hardness that is introduced by the other metals makes silver able to be formed into intricate jewelry designs; however, the copper that is contained in sterling silver is susceptible to tarnish.

Pure silver is not susceptible to tarnish in an environment of pure oxygen.

The copper that is present in the sterling silver alloy reacts to the ozone and hydrogen sulfide in the air, which causes sterling silver to tarnish. Items like hairspray, perfumes and excessive sweat also lead to a quicker formation of tarnish.

Now that you know the answer to the question, will silver plated jewelry tarnish, you might be curious about the different methods for cleaning tarnished silver plated jewelry.

Keep reading to discover the 3 best ways for how to clean silver plated jewelry!

 

 

Cleaning Tarnished Silver Plated Jewelry

If you’re stuck on how to clean silver plated jewelry, there are really only 3 methods you need to know about. As dust, dirt, body oils and grime accumulates on your silver plated jewelry, it can lose its luster over time, making it appear dull. Fortunately, the best methods for how to clean silver plated jewelry are to use household items. You don’t even need silver polish! Check out the following methods to get your silver plated rings, earrings and bracelets shining good as new.

#1 Soap + Water

soap and water


If your silver plated jewelry is showing some light tarnish, a quick soap and water bath is the best way to get them sparkling and shiny again. Looking for how to clean silver plated rings? Use soap and water!

  • Use a mild dish soap and warm water to create a foamy solution in a small container
  • Submerge silver plated jewelry into the liquid for several minutes
  • Using a soft cloth, rub the items
  • Make sure you get all surfaces
  • If the jewelry item has lots of grooves, nooks and crannies, use a soft bristle toothbrush to get the dirt out of those areas
  • Once clean, rinse the items in warm water
  • Dry with a lint-free cloth thoroughly and make sure silver plated jewelry item is completely dry before storing it away

#2 Jewelry Polishing Cloth

jewelry polishing cloth


Depending on the level of tarnish on your silver plated jewelry, a jewelry polishing cloth is really all you need. With a high quality jewelry polishing cloth like this one, not only will excess dirt and tarnish be removed from your silver plated jewelry, but it will put that shine back into your jewelry items! Between deeper cleans (method #3), use a jewelry polishing cloth to buff your silver plated jewelry to retain its luster. If you want, you can also give your silver plated jewelry items a quick polish and wipe-down after each and every time you wear it. This will help to remove your body oils and any chemicals, products or pollutants that might be on it, which would contribute to tarnishing. Remember to be gentle when you wipe your silver plated jewelry items down, as the layer might be relatively thin and can potentially be scrubbed away with too much force.


#3 Aluminum Foil + Baking Soda

aluminum foil and baking soda


If you need something a little strong to clean your silver plated jewelry items, the aluminum foil and baking soda method is really the best way to clean your silver plated jewelry.

  • Cover the inside of a bowl with aluminum foil
  • Pour 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon salt into a bowl
  • Fill the bowl half full with warm water
  • Stir the contents of the bowl to mix them
  • Submerge the silver plated jewelry into the water
  • Wait 10 minutes before removing jewelry
  • Rinse jewelry with water
  • Wipe clean with dry cloth

How To Store Silver Plated Jewelry

how to store silver plated jewelry

  • Before you put your silver plated jewelry items away, make sure they are completely free of moisture. Exposure to air and moisture is what causes silver to tarnish, so always store silver plated jewelry in a cool, dry place.

  • If you’re unsure how to store silver plated jewelry, store it in a plastic Ziploc bag and get all the air out. This will reduce interaction with air, which will ultimately slow down the rate of tarnish.

  • As an extra step of caution, wrap your silver plated jewelry in anti-tarnish paper before you seal it away.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals when wearing your silver plated jewelry. Chemicals such as chlorine, bleach and household detergents can damage your silver plated jewelry and lead to tarnish. Always remove your silver plated jewelry when swimming in heavily chlorinated pools, doing household chores or doing anything that causes you to sweat excessively.

  • Avoid scrubbing your silver plated jewelry with abrasive cloths or cleaners. These items can remove the tarnish, but they can also remove the outer silver plating on your silver plated jewelry. Thus, always opt for a milder cleaner and soft cloths, since silver plated jewelry is quite delicate and has the potential to flake off.

  • Toothpaste is not recommended as a cleaner for silver plated items because the silica present in toothpaste can scratch your silver plated items.

  • Keep in mind you can have your silver plated jewelry items re-plated if the outer layer flakes off too much.

  • April 24, 2019
  • Customer Support
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