Are you looking to restore the shine of your silver jewellery but you don't want to use chemicals? Great, there is an eco-friendly and easy method of cleaning silver using baking soda and aluminum foil.
In this article, we will show you our favourite method for cleaning silver jewellery at home. It's simple, quick, and uses items you likely already have at home - aluminum foil and baking soda. This method is also gentle on your jewellery and environmentally friendly.
It utilises a simple chemical reaction - specifically, reduction and oxidation. The reduction of silver sulfide (Ag2S) to silver (Ag) and the oxidation of aluminum (Al) to aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and hydrogen gas (H2) occur simultaneously.
(3Ag2S + 6NaHCO3 + 2Al → 3Ag + 3Na2CO3 + Al2O3 + 3H2)
heat-resistant container (ceramic/glass bowl)
mild dish soap
Line the bottom of a heat-resistant container, such as a glass bowl, with a piece of aluminum foil - the shiny side up.
Place your silver jewellery on the foil.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda into the bowl, and pour boiling water over the silver, ensuring it is completely submerged. The aluminum foil and baking soda will create a chemical reaction that helps remove tarnish.
Let your jewellery soak for 5-10 minutes. The silver sulfide tarnish should transfer from the silver to the aluminum foil, and your jewellery should immediately look cleaner.
Carefully remove the jewellery from the solution and rinse it under cool running water. Ensure all baking soda residue is washed away.
Pat the jewelry dry with a soft cloth. Ensure it's completely dry to prevent water spots.
If your jewelry is still not as shiny as you want it to be, you might add the following steps:
Repeat the process, letting the jewellery soak in the solution longer.
After soaking in the baking soda solution, wash the jewellery with a mild dish soap and water to remove any remaining residues. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
For an extra shine, use a silver polishing cloth to gently polish the jewellery after cleaning it.
For intricate designs or stubborn tarnish, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub the jewellery. Be cautious not to scratch the silver.
Not Suitable For:
This method works best for pure silver items - solid sterling silver 925. All of NURA silver pieces are made of solid silver. Avoid using this method for silver-plated items, as it may damage the thin layer of silver. If your piece is made of gold-plated silver, you may use the method of soaking, but soak it for only about 1-2 minutes. Note that the gold plating might wear off more rapidly by cleaning it. Avoid using this method on pieces with gemstones that may be sensitive to water or heat. If your jewellery is heavily tarnished, and the baking soda solution doesn’t work even after repeated use, you will need to use chemical cleaning.
Clean Your Jewelry Regularly
We hope that you managed to bring back the shine of your silver jewellery. We recommend cleaning your pieces regularly to avoid heavy tarnish, which is much harder to remove. If you are not sure if you can use this method for your NURA jewellery, we are happy to help. Do email us a picture of your pieces so we can advise on how to clean them.
Looking for a new silver piece?
Most of our designs are available in sterling silver 925. If your chosen design is not available online in the silver version, do get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org, we might be able to make it for you.
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