Quick cleanup silver jewelry saves time. It is advisable to take them to a jeweler when more complex soiling occurs. To do it yourself, you need to know how to sterling silver at home. The right product is a guarantee that the appearance of objects will not deteriorate, and in addition you will be able to give them back shine.
The properties of silver in use. Causes of silver darkening on the body
Silver is characterized by a set of properties that facilitate its processing: ductility, high ductility, softness. However, when in use, products made of pure metal cannot withstand the effects of external factors. To increase the service life of jewelry or silverware, use an alloy based on it. The composition includes a significant proportion of Ag and some additives (from 7.5 to 25%) is a ligature, which increases the hardness of the metal, reducing its ductility. Additives prevent damage to the surface of products and increase the service life.
However, it is the ligature that explains why silver darkens. Additives interact with substances in the environment (air, water). Ag in its pure form reacts weakly to outside compounds. Changes to the metal occur slowly. Factors affecting objects made of such precious metal:
- fluctuations in the humidity in the room;
- violation of production technology or too much inaccuracy in the addition of ligatures, which contributes to the development of a more active reaction between copper and components in the air composition;
- violation of the storage conditions recommended by the manufacturer;
- the effects of components contained in cosmetics;
- a reaction to sweat and sebum, biological substances secreted by the human body.
When silver jewelry darkens due to frequent wear, it is the result of exposure to sulfur, which is found in human sweat.
Why does silverware spoil?
Not only jewelry that includes Ag, but also spoons, forks (table items) can turn black. Probable causes:
- Increased humidity in the room where the devices are stored;
- the use of unsuitable detergents: abrasive, too aggressive substances destroy the surface of silver items, as a result, they quickly become covered with a patina;
- application dinnerware for the preparation of sulfur-containing products (eggs, onions, etc.).
There are many ways to clean silver at home. How to choose the right one
Existing ways are conventionally divided into groups:
Fluids of varying degrees of fluidity are used. Silver is not characterized by superhardness even with the addition of ligatures, so dry substances are not recommended. They exhibit abrasive properties and contribute to the appearance of micro-damage on the surface of the items. In such areas blackness appears in the first place. When choosing a means to take into account the criteria:
- type of subject
- the degree of contamination of the products;
- the presence of scratches;
- type of dirt: grease deposits, patina.
To clean the product, which contains a stone or has a coating (rhodium-plating, gilding), use the least aggressive means (liquid for dishes or soapy water), otherwise there is an increased risk of clouding the insert.
Top 15 best recipes with what and how to clean silver, remove blackness at home quickly and effectively to shine
К home remedies pertain:
- household chemicals;
- semi-professional polishing products;
- detergents and cosmetics.
Some have a strong odor, so they should be used in a ventilated room. Others are aggressive and should not be used longer than the recommended period.
When you finish cleaning the silver, you need to remove drops of water - wipe the item dry, otherwise after drying there will be traces on the surface of the metal.
In baking soda and foil
The method is one of the most common, which is due to the interaction of Ag with soda, aluminum. To clean silver at home, you have to prepare:
- enameled saucepan;
- soda - 50 grams;
- water - 500 ml (the proportions can be changed, keeping the ratio of the components to increase the total volume of silver cleaning solution);
- On the bottom of the pan put foil, pour water.
- When the liquid comes to a boil, add baking soda.
- Immerse objects. This way you can whiten jewelry, cutlery.
- The pan is removed from the stove, after 2 minutes take out the products. They should shine.
- Jewelry is washed under the tap.
Solution with salt and soda
- A container of metal, so you can put it on the stove;
- salt and baking soda - 2 tsp;
- water - 1 liter.
Recipe for restoring blackened dishes, jewelry:
- The water is heated.
- Dissolve all components.
- Throw in products that require cleaning.
- You should wait 15 minutes, then rinse the items with water.
Mixtures with ammonia
There are different recipe options. Mix ammonia with water in a 1:10 ratio. Recipe #1:
- Pour into a container of glass or plastic ammonia.
- Immerse jewelry, silverware (anything that needs to be brightened).
- Removed from the ammonia products, washed with clean water.
- Prepare hydrogen peroxide and ammonia alcohol. The ratio of the components is 1:1.
- Dipped into the solution of the products.
- After 15 minutes, check the condition. If cleared, they are removed and washed. Otherwise, you can hold the silver The decorations in the solution for some more time.
Hydrogen peroxide solution
Blackening is removed in a variety of ways. An aqueous solution of peroxide (3%) is most often used. The ratio of the components is 1:1. In such a product is left for 2-3 minutes. If it did not help wash the darkened jewelry, resort to another method. Clean silver at home:
- Prepare baking soda and hydrogen peroxide (the amount is arbitrary, since you need to get a thick mess).
- The product is applied to a surface that is blackened.
- Rub with a rag, then clean under the faucet.
When deciding how to clean silver from blackness, remember that acids do a good job. Vinegar (9%) is not diluted if the dirt is complex. When silver darkens, it is recommended to return it to whiteness by leaving it in a container with this remedy for 15 minutes. But sometimes this method does not work. Then silver cleaning at home is carried out according to another recipe:
- In a glass container put jewelry that requires brightening.
- Add 1-2 tbsp. of baking soda.
- Pour the vinegar.
- Leave it for 2 hours, cover it beforehand.
- Rinse with tap water.
This method effectively brings back the whiteness. Prepares:
- container from metal (to be put on the stove);
- citric acid - 100 grams;
- water - 1 liter.
- They heat the liquid.
- Citric acid is injected.
- When the liquid comes to a boil, the jewelry is lowered to the bottom of the container to restore its former appearance.
- The pot is not removed from the stove, boil the products for 15 minutes.
- Wash with clean water.
Porridge with soda
Mild discoloration can be removed by milder remedies. It is necessary to use:
- a container for mixing the components;
- lint-free rags.
The components are taken in any quantity. Recipe:
- Prepare a pulp, it should not spread, otherwise it will be difficult to clean the jewelry. First, put the baking soda in a container, then add water in small portions.
- The product is applied to the contaminated surface. It can be left on for a while or cleaned immediately with a rag, depending on the complexity of the dirt. Strong blackness is removed by mechanical action and a weak abrasive.
Before choosing wayIf you want to know how to clean silver, you need to assess the possibilities: see if you have all the tools at home, if there is a lot of time to perform the manipulation. Toothpaste can be a way out of the situation when there is nothing else at hand and you need to finish the procedure quickly. Cleaning silver that has oxidized is done according to the instructions:
- Apply toothpaste to the rag.
- Moisten the silver.
- They start polishing.
- It remains to clean the object with water.
If little time has passed since the purchase and the item has already lost its properties, you need to choose a way to care for it. Not knowing how to clean silver, many people use carbonated beverages, but this agent acts aggressively. It is recommended to use it when items have had time to strongly darken. To return the jewelry to its original appearance, they need to pour the drink. The product cleans the items in 5-7 minutes.
Do not use carbonated beverages to care for blackened silver, gold-plated and rhodium-plated jewelry.
The product cleans greasy plaque and faint stains. It is regularly used to preserve the attractiveness of jewelry - for the purpose of regular maintenance. You will need:
- detergent: liquid soap or laundry soap;
- container of glass.
- Grind soap on a grater to form shavings or take a liquid product.
- Dissolved in water, you need to get a thick foam.
- Soak the silver for several hours. If the blackness is not removed, use an additional rag to polish the objects by moistening the rag in a soapy solution.
GOI paste and other professional products
Even if the pieces are covered in places with a persistent patina, once in a hydrogen sulfide environment, they can be restored. You need to understand what to do if the silver is blackened. To do this, use polishes - pastes and solutions that scrub the surface layer. But they should not be used often, you can change the shape of the jewelry.
The most famous is GOI paste. It is a cleaning and polishing agent. It is used according to a simple scheme:
- The substance is applied to a lint-free rag.
- They polish the product to make it shine.
- Washing under water.
- Wipe dry.
The disadvantage of the method is the long processing time. GOI paste is available in 4 types, which differ in the size of the abrasive particles. For removing patina, the variant with the finest fractions is suitable. Other preparations that can qualitatively clean jewelry, silver cutlery and coins, remove yellowing, tarnishing:
- Silver clean;
Metal cleaning know-how options at home
If you wonder what other people use to clean silver, you can pay attention to more original, but no less effective methods:
- Potatoes: grate the tubers to form fine shavings so that the mass becomes more enveloping, add a little water, in the resulting remedy leave the silver for half an hour, then rinse under the tap, also used decoction of potatoes, enough to soak products in it, but do not use such a tool to clean rhodium-plated, Nielloed or gilded silver;
- Hygienic lipstick: the product is effective due to the included fats and titanium dioxide, apply a small amount to the object, then polish it, cleaned shiny silver wash under the tap, if the jewelry has a complex configuration, it is better to choose another method, because then it will be difficult to remove the residues of grease;
- Contact lens cleaner: You must soak your jewelry in it for 12 hours, for example, you can leave it overnight; if the dirt is weak, the result is obtained faster - moisten a rag in the liquid, rub the silver, first it is recommended to check how the jewelry behaves after contact with the substance, for this purpose, apply a small amount to a hidden area, if nothing happens to the metal, continue manipulating.
Cleaning method for silver with stones
Inlays can be organic or artificial. But in both cases, improper care contributes to the deterioration of appearance. Stones become darker, scratched, and covered with plaque. To avoid this, their properties and structure are taken into consideration, as determined by the variety they belong to. Cleaning silver at home is carried out with the use of different means:
- Aquamarine, sapphire, emerald: use a detergent-based solution;
- amber, pearls, coral: use warm water with the addition of liquid soap;
- boiling water is not suitable for ruby and garnet, a universal detergent (based on detergent) is used;
- The household soap in a solution is used to clean moonstone, malachite, turquoise, and opal.
Bring the shine back to rhodium-plated silver
Rhodium increases the hardness of the product, allowing it to be used longer. Silver is not damaged, and it does not turn black so quickly. But over time, this coating becomes thin, and you have to restore it. In order to take the item to be repaired as seldom as possible, you can care for it by using products:
- glycerin: applied to the jewelry with a cotton swab, the method is suitable if the darkening is not too old, localized in limited areas, with a strong change in appearance consider more effective methods;
- soapy water is an all-purpose cleaner, it cleans all kinds of silver, but it can handle greasy dirt and dust, and it does not remove blackness well;
- velvet and warm water, an alternative method - special solutions, cloths, bought in a jewelry shop.
Wash gilded silver
Gold-plated items may be cleaned, but the least aggressive methods should be used, such as ammonia or soapy water. The layer of gilding rubs off over time, becoming thinner, until one day it disappears completely. For this reason, cleaning agents should not be used frequently. Never use abrasive agents (dry powders such as baking soda or chalk). It is not recommended to keep silver covered with a layer of gold in liquids that remove blackness and dirt for a long time. Do not use hard brushes for cleaning. Mild remedies that are used to restore the attractiveness of gilding:
- application of beer, polishing with a rag;
- Soaking in warm water with pieces of raw potato.
Clean blackened silver
Most of the remedies listed above cannot be used to clean silver with decorative blackening. Soft-acting substances are suitable. The following methods are prohibited:
- the use of hot liquids;
- polishing with brushes;
- Exposure to acids, ammonia, bleach, etc.
To clean silver at home, use the classic recipe for a soap solution, but to increase the effectiveness, add salt - 1 tbsp. per 1 liter of the prepared product. The items are soaked in the liquid for half an hour, after which they can be rinsed.
How to clean a matte without ruining it
The matte finish is a special kind of treatment (oxidized silver). To keep the jewelry new as long as possible, you should not use acidic agents, abrasives - anything that can destroy the surface layer. In this case, soapy water is the best solution. It is a universal means, which cleans the majority of dirt from silver items. If you have not yet had a chance to look for information on how to whiten silver in at homeThe instructions given above are taken as a basis: soap is dissolved in water and the object is soaked.
How to wash silverware
You can use most of the above remedies. To decide how to remove blackness from silver, consider methods: ammonia, vinegar, toothpaste. But more popular is a solution based on salt and soda. It is necessary to soak the silver for half an hour, if necessary, it is possible for a longer period. Then it remains to rinse it and polish it with a rag (flannel will do).
Silver darkening prevention and storage rules
Considering that silver loses its properties when in contact with external compounds (which contain air, water, human sweat, cosmetics, detergents), it is necessary to minimize the negative impact. Tips:
- Do not use the dishwasher to clean silverware;
- All precious metal items should be stored separately from other metals;
- It is recommended to use covers or boxes with soft padding inside so that silver jewelry items will not become deformed;
- You should remove your jewelry before playing sports, washing dishes, and taking a bath/shower;
- If possible, products should be washed under running water each time after contact with the skin;
- periodically perform preventive cleaning of all silverware.
Table: The cost of professional silver cleaning in your city
To restore the original properties of jewelry, jewelry shops use different methods. Common ones are:
- steam generator;
The choice of method is made based on the type of product and its degree of contamination. The cost of work varies with this. It varies from city to city:
|City||Name of the workshop||Price, rubles.|
Question and answer section
What to clean silver at home when blackened to shine like new?
How and what to bleach silver at home safely?
How do I get the dirt off of my silver jewelry?
How to lighten a silver box?
- whether there is a coating: blackening, oxide film;
- whether there is a pattern on the surface or whether it is smooth.
In the first case, you can only use a soapy solution, but it has little effect on the patina. Smooth surfaces are easier to bleach. Use any of the available means: toothpaste, pomade, vinegar, etc.
How to restore the shine of precious metal?
Video: the best way to clean silver at home
Cleaning silver at home: tips from a jeweler
- Products 925 hallmark immediately take a master for the restoration, as it is a relatively soft metal, easily damaged;
- Do not use brushes at home when you clean the thing, after the first time there may be nothing left, but gradually there will be noticeable signs of mechanical damage;
- If for a long period of time things have not been cleaned, they should be taken immediately to the master, plaque and blackening in this case almost never removed by using home remedies.
As a final reminder, after cleaning, the metal should rest for 3 days. During this time, a natural film will form on it, which performs a protective function. Then it is already possible to wear jewelry.