Friday, August 1, 2008

How to clean your Sterling Silver jewelry

I love silver jewelry but I hate tarnish, and eventually, tarnish will happen to your silver jewelry.A few words of caution to begin with, however:

*Make sure the kids and/or family pets are away from the stove top.

*DO NOT put anything but sterling silver items (no plated materials) into the cleaning solution.

*DO NOT put any porous stones (turquoise, etc.), shells (mother of pearl, etc), or pearls (cultured, freshwater, etc) into the solution. You can damage stones if you aren’t careful, so you may want to be extra cautious and use this on silver only jewelry.

*Use your common sense. When in doubt, don’t do it.

You will need the following:

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup liquid dish soap
1/2 gallon of water
Large pot
Aluminum foil
Plastic spoon
Stove top
Colander or strainer
Towel

Take a large pot, such as an old spaghetti pot, and line the inside with aluminum foil. Make sure you cover all the sides as well as the bottom completely with the foil.

Pour all of the ingredients into the pot and stir with your plastic spoon. Collect the sterling silver jewelry you want to clean and count each item so you know the total number you put into the pot. Place them into the solution.

Bring this to a low (not high) boil for a few minutes. Then turn off the burner and let it sit for another couple of minutes.

Then using the colander or strainer, pour out the solution. Rinse very well with cold water. It is important to get all the salt, especially, off the jewelry or it will literally eat your silver later on.

Count your items as you place them on a towel to dry. Make sure you’ve accounted for all your jewelry before you throw away the aluminum. It will be dirty because the oxides on your jewelry were transferred to it. Your sterling silver jewelry should now look like new.

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