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How To Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry in Minutes

Keep your favorite pieces shiny.


Have you ever put on your favorite pair of sterling silver earrings only to find them dull and lackluster? Or maybe you’ve noticed that your trusty silver necklace is beginning to tarnish. Thankfully, it’s easy to help your sterling silver jewelry look shiny and new again. Below are step-by-step instructions for how to clean sterling silver jewelry in minutes using items you probably already have around the house. Whether your silver is starting to tarnish or you simply want to give it a good polish, the below tips for cleaning sterling silver jewelry will make it easy.

The 6 Easiest Methods for Cleaning Silver Jewelry

Discolored and dull silver jewelry is not only unsightly but can also be challenging to clean. Below are the most effective methods for cleaning it.

Cleaning Jewelry With Aluminium Foil

Thanks to a chemical reaction caused by baking soda, you can have your silver jewelry sparkling like new in a matter of minutes. 

What You’ll Need 

  • Aluminum foil
  • Baking soda
  • Bowl 
  • Water
  • Damp cloth 

What You’ll Do 

  • Line your bowl with aluminum foil, then add enough baking soda to cover the bottom of the bowl. 
  • Add water and silver jewelry to the bowl. Let it soak in the baking soda and water mixture for three to five minutes.
  • Rinse your jewelry under warm water.
  • Dry it with a damp cloth.

With this simple cleaning method, you can quickly restore the shine of your silver jewelry.

Cleaning Jewelry With Dish Soap

Dish soap works wonders on silver jewelry. Here’s how to use it.

What You’ll Need

  • Bowl of hot water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Soft cloth

What You’ll Do 

  • Add one or two drops of dish soap to your water bowl and stir to create suds. 
  • Gently place your silver jewelry in the water and let it soak for a few minutes. 
  • Use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe each piece of jewelry clean, paying particular attention to any areas that seem particularly dirty. 
  • Rinse the jewelry under warm water and dry it with a clean towel. 

That’s all there is to cleaning silver jewelry with dish soap. Go forth and sparkle.

Cleaning Jewelry Using Toothpaste 

Toothpaste isn’t just for cleaning your teeth. Use this standard household product to clean your silver jewelry in minutes. 

What You’ll Need

  • Soft bristled toothbrush
  • Some toothpaste
  • Water

What You’ll Do 

  • Wet your jewelry and apply a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste to your toothbrush.
  • Gently scrub the jewelry, paying attention to highly tarnished areas. 
  • Rinse the jewelry with cool water and dry it with a soft cloth. 

Your silver jewelry will look good as new. 

Cleaning Jewelry With Lemon and Lime Juice

Have you ever tried to clean your silver jewelry with lemon and lime juice and found that it just doesn’t work as well as you hoped? If so, these tips will turn that around and make your silver jewelry sparkle like new in no time. 

What You’ll Need

  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Bowl of water 
  • Soft polishing cloth

What You’ll Do 

  • Mix equal parts lemon juice, lime juice, and water in a bowl. 
  • Immerse your silver jewelry and let it soak five minutes. 
  • Use a soft cloth to gently rub the jewelry clean. 
  • Rinse the jewelry in clean water and dry it with a soft cloth.

Now you know how to clean your silver jewelry with lemon and lime. Give it a try the next time your jewelry starts to look dull.

Cleaning Jewelry With Vinegar 

For anyone who loves jewelry, cleaning it can be daunting, especially when it comes to silver. Over time, silver jewelry can become tarnished and covered in a dark patina. But using just common household ingredients, you can bring your silver jewelry back to its shining glory. Here’s how to clean silver jewelry with vinegar in minutes.

What You’ll Need 

  • White vinegar
  • Bowl of water 
  • Soft cloth

What You’ll Do

  • Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl.
  • Let your silver jewelry soak five minutes.
  • Gently rub the jewelry with your cloth, paying special attention to tarnished areas.
  • Rinse jewelry with clean water, and dry with a soft cloth.

With barely any effort, this technique will keep your sterling silver jewelry looking radiant.

Cleaning Jewelry With Glass Cleaner

Windex can also be used to clean your sterling silver jewelry. Here’s how:

What You’ll Need

  • Glass cleaner 
  • Soft bristled toothbrush
  • Clean cloth
  • Water

What You’ll Do

  • Spray glass cleaner directly onto a clean soft-bristled toothbrush. 
  • Use the toothbrush to gently clean the silver and its hard-to-reach crevices. 
  • Submerge the jewelry in warm water. 
  • Dry and buff your piece with a clean, soft cloth.   

Note: If the jewelry contains delicate stones, do not submerge it in warm water. Rather, wipe clean with a soft cloth.

Cleaning Jewelry With a Coca-Cola-Based Silver Cleaner

Don’t have glass cleaner, baking soda, or lemon and lime juice? Never fear — your favorite soda pop might be able to help. The acid in Coca-Cola works as a non-abrasive cleaning solution to cut through grime and rust, making it a great tool to restore sparkle and shine in your favorite sterling silver pieces. 

What You’ll Need

  • Coca-Cola
  • Small container
  • Water

What You’ll Do

  • Simply pour the soda pop into a small container. 
  • Submerge your sterling silver jewelry into the Coke. 
  • Let the silver soak for one hour. 
  • Take the silver out and rinse it in warm water. 

The Coca-Cola technique works, but in my experience, isn’t as effective as the other methods. 

Tips To Preserve Sterling Silver Jewelry 

Sterling silver adds shine to any outfit. However, sterling silver is also a delicate metal that requires special care. Here are tips for protecting both heirlooms and new silver jewelry.

  • Keep sterling silver jewelry in a cool, dark, and dry place. Silver tarnishes when exposed to moisture and humidity, so it’s important to keep it in a storage area that’s free of these conditions.
  • Store silver jewelry pieces individually in sealable anti-tarnish plastic bags. Remove as much air from the bag as you can before closing the seal. This will  prevent the other metals in the silver from oxidizing
  • Clean sterling silver jewelry regularly with a soft cloth or jewelry cleaner. This will help to prevent tarnish and discoloration and keep your silver rings and necklaces shining.
  • Avoid contact with harsh chemicals like bleach and other cleaning products that can damage the surface of pure silver and cause it to lose its luster.
  • Remove sterling silver jewelry before participating in activities that could cause corrosion, such as swimming or exercising.

By following these simple steps, you can maintain your sterling silver jewelry in like-new condition for a lifetime. That said, if you can’t restore your sterling silver despite your best efforts, it may be time to call in the big guns. Take your precious jewelry to a jeweler who can clean it professionally. A cleaning service is usually pretty affordable — and you’ll have the added assurance that your sterling silver pieces won’t get damaged, as they are in the hands of an expert. 

The Bottom Line 

Sterling silver jewelry is a very soft metal that can tarnish if not properly cared for. To clean sterling silver jewelry, use any one of the above methods — and once clean, follow the above tips to preserve it. With proper care, your sterling silver jewelry will look beautiful for many years to come.

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