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Tips for Bringing the Shine Back to Your Silver Jewlery

I'm sure that we all have a piece of silver jewelry that we would like to wear but it has become tarnished from being exposed to the air over time. It is actually the metal part of the alloy in sterling silver that causes tarnishing since pure silver, just like gold, is resistant to oxidation. To make your silver shiny again you can rub the piece with a cotton cloth or a jewelers polishing cloth. For pieces that are extremely tarnished you will need to add polishing paste.

Here's another tip which is great for more intricate pieces. Cover the bottom of a dishpan with tin foil. Pour hot water into the dishpan and add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda. Place your sterling silver pieces into the mixture. Make sure that your silver pieces are positioned close to one other. Also be sure that they are touching the tin foil. Through a chemical reaction the tarnish will be transferred to the tin foil. Soak your sterling silver pieces for at least five minutes. Remove your like new pieces and rinse and dry.

I find that the ultimate method for polishing silver jewelry that does not contain soft stones is a tumbler. This works great for chainmaille pieces. Jewlery is tumbled with assorted shapes and sizes of steel shot to soften rough edges and to remove tarnish.

Once you have cleaned your silver jewelry, the best way to keep it tarnish free is store the piece in a sealed plastic bag to keep air away from the surface. There are also tarnish strips that can be purchased from Rio Grande or other suppliers that can be stored with your jewelry to keep your silver nice and shiny.

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Comment by Jody B. on September 11, 2009 at 12:53pm
I knew there was some aspect missing... I've been "forgetting" the salt!! Thanks for the reminders!!
Comment by Lauren Michelle Bell on August 12, 2009 at 9:38am
Don't forget that ketchup works like a charm too! Give you jewelry a ketchup baths for shine in no time!
Comment by Kirsten Petersen on August 11, 2009 at 6:09am
Thank you for these great tips!

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