Cleaning Silver

Fun fact – dross describes the impurities that are doing in silver, but not the blackness that collects on unworn silver jewelry.

Fun fact #2 – the black stuff results from oxidation and a lot of it can take forever to clean

Fun fact #3 – these facts aren’t really that fun.

Anyway, my posts in the next week or so will be sporadic because my camera cord is packed away and I’m too lazy to pull it out again. This week does mark my last few days at home and I’ve between having fun puttering around the house doing odd jobs. Today we’ll be cleaning silver with a homemade solution =D

Instructions can be found here.

Start by lining a glass dish with aluminum foil. Then sprinkle some salt and baking soda (just a bit of each) onto the surface. Feel like a wizard (or chemist, because that’s what you are =D).

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"You're a wizard, Harry." "No! I'm a scientist!"

Next pour hot water into the dish and drop your jewelry in, ensuring that all parts are touching the aluminum foil. You can use a toothpick to help arrange your jewelry, because my burnt fingers tell me hot water isn’t a fun thing. Let the whole shebang sit for five minutes or so. Open a window in the meanwhile because this solution smells.

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Hot baths must be mighty comfy

When you take it out it’ll seem still somewhat grimy…

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What a dirty thing.

So give it a good rinse and it’ll gleam just a tad more. Don’t use rubber gloves while washing because that just aids the oxidation process instead of preventing it.

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It's cleaner. Sorta.

Mind you, this necklace was pretty heavily tarnished so I had to give it two baths. The second dish came out looking like this, after I removed the necklace. Pretty neat, eh?

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"Sir, we think we've discovered the faint imprint of... A revived necklace."

If you wear your silver jewelry more often, it’ll gleam brighter too (and oxidize much slower). This is what the final product looked like:

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Yes, that is my couch upon which this fair necklace lies.

And TA-DA. Shiny things abound once more. Happy summer cleaning (=

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