One of ways improve the appearance of the product - gilding. The technology is universal, suitable for cutlery, jewelry, and other items. The decorative coating protects the precious metal from damage. But its color gradually changing, becoming darker. You have to find a way to clean up gilded silver. If cared for in a timely manner, it can increase its lifespan.
How gilded silver is made. Why gilding turns black
The coating is characterized by a minimum thickness of no more than 2 microns. This was made possible by the development of a technology called electroplating. In this process, the product is immersed in a solution together with a fragment of gold. When the electric current is passed through, the yellow metal ions are electrodeposited onto the silver. This is facilitated by the proper choice of electrolyte. Previously, cyanide solution was used. However, it was very harmful and contained a dangerous substance. Later, the method was improved, and a non-cyanide electrolyte was used.
The gilded silver assay does not change. For example, if you want to coat alloy 925, then even after electrodeposition of yellow metal ions, the main characteristics remain the same. The gilded silver assay is 925. But the coating protects the jewelry from darkening only for a limited period. Causes of appearance blackness:
- contact with sweat against the background of illness, taking medications, excessive physical activity;
- exposure to cosmetics, detergents;
- storage rules violation - in a room with high humidity;
- damage: where there are scratches, the patina on the silver appears faster.
What kind of silver to choose to clean less often
Ag is a soft metal that quickly loses its original shape and color. It needs to be carefully cared for, often polished and cleaned from contamination. To reduce costs (time, physical), different methods are used. One of them is gilding, but even in this case, the silver may darken in areas where the coating has been thinned.
It is recommended to choose a precious metal with the least amount of ligature. For this purpose, consider alloys 925, 960.
The absence of identifying features on gilded silver most often indicates that the product is of poor quality. Most likely, it is costume jewelry. It will quickly lose its shape. Such a thing will not last long. But sometimes the lack of a hallmark indicates that the item was repaired. To determine whether or not your jewelry is worthy of attention, you can contact a jeweler.
How to clean the gilding on silver so that it does not fade. Preparing your jewelry for cleaning
Items of complex configuration (watches, bracelets, chains) it is better to disassemble if possible. It is advisable to perform such actions if there are hangers. They are removed, because in the areas where the links are attached coating is darker in the first place (exposed to mechanical stress). Then continue to prepare for cleaning, as you need to remove grease stains, dust:
- treatment with a lint-free rag, use microfiber, flannel: a dry method is welcome, but most surface dirt can not be removed, so it is acceptable to slightly moisten the rag;
- application of alcohol or turpentine - the method is used if the gilded silver has difficult stains.
Top 10 recipes, what and how to clean the gilding from the black at home quickly and effectively to shine
When a person begins to wear jewelry, in the first few days it becomes clear how the product will behave: some leave marks on the skin, darken the metal, while others - no change. If gold blacken immediately, it means that the body secretes special substances, it is unlikely to wear such jewelry. Or you will have to clean it daily. gilded silver. In this case, the coating will thin very quickly and will have to be restored. If, however, the gilded silver is well tolerated, you can continue to wear it, removing dirt from time to time.
The average service life of the gilding on silver items is 2 years, the length of the service life depends directly on the conditions of use, exposure to negative factors and, most importantly, on the mechanical load. Sometimes the gilding is preserved for a longer period, and in some cases it does not last even a year.
Deciding how to clean the gilding, most often turn to a simpler, time and proven means - soapy water. For its preparation you will need:
- bar soap;
- water - 1 liter;
- Plastic, glass or ceramic containers - for cleaning jewelry, use containers made of materials that will not react to the components or ligature in the silver alloy/gold.
To effectively to clean gilded silver at home, follow the sequence:
- Grate bar soap on a grater.
- Pour water into a container, then add shavings. You can take any amount, and you need to get a solution with a high soapiness.
- For cleaning, it is advisable to choose a cloth without lint, borders, scars or other decorative elements - they can damage the coating.
- Start polishing the jewelry by soaking the cloth in the solution, but without pressure, as pressure increases the friction force and thus thinning the gilding. You can soak the piece. Thirty minutes is enough to dissolve the dirt.
- They wash it under the tap.
Unlike uncoated silver alloys, gold-plated metal cannot be cleaned, even with a soft toothbrush. The slightest scratch can cause the surface layer to become more damaged. Instructions for cleaning blackened jewelry:
- Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the rag. It is better to use a flannel, as it will not damage the gold plating. When choosing a toothpaste buyer should pay attention to the composition: you should not buy a whitening agent with abrasive properties.
- Polishing by making circular motions.
- Wash off the cleaner with tap water.
Salt and soda solution
If gold-plated items have had time to darken since purchase, a solution consisting of two components is used:
- Heat water (200 ml).
- Toss in the salt, baking soda - 1 tsp.
- When the components dissolve, the liquid cools to room temperature.
- Immerse jewelry in the solution and soak for 20-30 minutes. You can use it for polishing: moisten a rag that does not have decorations on it. This method provides faster results, but probably not all the dirt will come off.
- The gilded item is rinsed with water.
Lemon juice or wine vinegar
Acids are used in different ways because they provide different results. For example, if you have wine vinegar at home, it is enough to soak a rag in it, and then polish the thing. Care for silver jewelry with gilding is provided with the help of citric acid, for this purpose prepare:
- The active ingredient itself - 15 g;
- 500 ml of water;
- enameled pot.
- The liquid is heated.
- Throw in citric acid.
- When the water comes to a boil, the vessel is removed from the stove, and the gilded ornament is thrown in.
- After 15 minutes, take it out, rinse it with water.
When hot water is used, do not wash the item immediately with cold water under the faucet. Temperature extremes are undesirable for gilding. Wait until the silver has cooled.
Sweet water is prepared. This is one of the most unusual but effective cleaning methods gilded silver in at home. Instructions:
- Sugar (2 tbsp.) dissolved in water (1 cup).
- And the liquid can be warm during the preparation of the solution, but it must be cooled to room temperature before immersing the gilded metal objects.
- It is enough to hold the thing in the glass for 3-10 minutes.
- It is rinsed with clean water.
The object should be rinsed thoroughly so that it is not sticky to the touch after drying. It is then wiped with a dry cloth.
The product is recommended to use when you need to clean products that are lightly soiled. It is enough to immerse them in a glass of beer. Leave the jewelry for half an hour, if necessary - for 40 minutes. At the last stage, it is necessary to rinse them with water, dry them.
If the gilded objects have had time to blacken, you can remove the stains in different ways, using a chicken egg:
- Protein. It must be separated from the yolk. To do this, carefully make a hole in the shell on one side. Soak a rag in white, polish the object. The product allows you to return the yellowing of the gilding, which has gradually blackened since the purchase, and at the same time returns the shine.
- Yolk. It is whipped if possible. Add oxalic water - 1 tbsp. per 1 yolk. Wipe the gilded silverware with the mixture. When you manage to clean it, remove the rest of the remedy under the faucet.
Ammonia and soap
- ammonia - a few drops;
- water - 1 liter;
- ceramic, glass container;
If your jewelry is peeling, you should take it to a jeweler for restoration, but it is better not to let this happen. It is advisable to periodically clean the gilding from the blackness, using a remedy:
- The chips are prepared in advance. You need a bar soap, grind it on a grater. Prepare the solution by mixing water, soap and ammonia. Thanks to the last of the components, the coating, which has already been washed, will be cleaned and begin to shine.
- Soak darkened items in the solution for half an hour.
- Wash with clean water.
Alcohol and turpentine
Many people mistakenly combine these substances to obtain a potent remedy. You should not use a solution in such a composition. When it comes to alcohol and turpentine, it is supposed to choose one of the options to prepare a piece with gilding for cleaning with a mild agent. A rag is moistened in the substance, and then the jewelry is wiped.
The substance is combined with other components. It is best to mix hydrogen peroxide with ammonia, the recommended ratio is 2:1. Soak soiled items in such a solution: spoons, forks, bracelet, earrings, cross, etc. After 20-30 minutes, you can rinse them with water and dry them. But you should be prepared for the fact that the item will leave stains of a different nature - a manifestation of the aggressive action of peroxide. It is necessary to first apply a small amount of the substance to the inner side of the silver object.
Table: Semi-professional cleaning products. Cost
There are quite a number of remedies that have been developed to preserve the appearance of jewelry. We need to consider not only how to clean the gilding at home, but also choose products from the range of products for cleaning jewelry:
|Product name||Cost, rubles.|
Such preparations can be used to clean jewels bought on the Sokolov website or any other, as well as those made tens or hundreds of years ago (during the Soviet Union or Tsarist Russia).
Why Silver and Gold Ways Don't Work
Silver, gold, and precious metal plating are materials with different properties. Even gold plating can behave differently than gold, due to the thinness of the surface layer, the combination with Ag. When remedies designed for one kind of metal are used improperly, jewelry is often damaged in this way.
You should choose a universal semi-professional means, the label should indicate that the product is suitable for cleaning gold and silver.
How to clean gilded silver at home quickly and efficiently with stones
Most hand tools are usually recommended for cleaning certain items. If your jewelry has a stone (pearl, emerald, fianite, etc.), you should not soak such items or clean with baking soda to keep them shiny rather than cloudy. Toothpaste, boiling water, as well as acids and alkalis are other options that can harm the inlays on your jewelry. When choosing how to clean gold-plated silver, you should consider the most appropriate options:
- Soap solution: dissolve the detergent in a warm liquid, rub the silver object with gilding, then rinse with water;
- Semi-professional special preparations: when choosing, one should read the composition. If you need to remove the darkening of jewelry with stones, you should consider not only means for silver and gold (universal), but above all purchase those that have a label which says that it is acceptable to take care of the stones on the jewelry.
How to clean gold-plated silver cutlery: spoons, forks, knives
Given that jewelry, like cutlery, is made of the same alloy (most often 925) and the coating is gold, you can use the same remedies as for jewelry. Turpentine will help bring back the luster of tableware. It is enough to moisten a cotton pad with it, and then treat the entire surface of each instrument.
How to clean a gold-plated watch
- dry cleaning - performed with a lint-free rag;
- Wet treatment - soak a cotton pad in water, remove excess water, wash the watch case;
- toothpaste - apply only on a flat surface, as it can get between the links of the bracelet, where the product will be difficult to remove.
When none of the methods worked, polish the watch with WD40 lubricant.
Question and answer section
Is gilded silver costume jewelry?
What do I do if my gilding is peeling?
How much does a jeweler's cleaning service cost?
How to clean gold-plated spoons from the blackness at home?
How to clean a gold-plated chain, a gift from my husband?
Does 925-gold-plated silver rub off or not?
Gold-plated silver earrings with diamonds, how to clean?
Recommendations for the care and storage of gold-plated silver jewelry
Tips to help increase lifespan gilded jewelry:
- Do not store them in a room with high humidity;
- Keep gold-plated items away from heat sources;
- You can't wear these things while jogging or doing sports at the gym;
- If you plan to cook food, you should also remove the gilded items;
- It is recommended to keep this kind of jewelry separately from the rest in a closed case or casket;
- Jewelry is cared for using the dry or wet cleaning method.
Video: How to effectively clean gold-plated silver at home without damaging the coating
- put in cardboard boxes;
- leave it together with the gold.
In both cases, metal oxidation will occur. For example, some types of cardboard release sulfur, and this is one of the main negative factors affecting precious metals. Gold can vary in composition, which means the ligature will interact with other substances that contain other jewelry nearby. This, too, will lead to a change in appearance.