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cleaning jewellery

(16 Posts)
UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 16-Jul-15 06:31:42

I remember years ago being taught that you could clean jewellery with tin foil in a bowl of water and adding some substance which was possibly bicarb of soda? Worked brilliantly.

I'm trying to remember how it worked but failing. I've googled, but all the sites I've found seem to be American and talk about "baking soda". I'm not clear if they mean baking powder or bicarbonate of soda.

Can anyone give a step-by-step guide as to how to do this? Thanks.

PigletJohn Thu 16-Jul-15 07:34:17

You are talking about the method for lifting black tarnish off silver. It does not work for gold or stones, both of which will have greasy dirt from skin oil and exfoliated skin.

Yes, bicarb is effective on silver tarnish, and this method is suitable for large silver objects such as trays and teapots.

You could also buy a jar of Silver Dip which also chemically removes silver tarnish, which is caused by sulphur dioxide in the air and is worsened by pollution from coal fires and wool carpets. A jar will last for years.

Avoid abrasive cleaners such as toothpaste which will wear away the surface, especially on plated metal, and avoid a stiff brush such as a toothbrush on stones as it may dislodge them from their settings. Gold and stones can be cleaned with warm water and WUL, and a small soft paintbrush on the back and hallmarks where dirt collects. Interestingly, you can tell people who wash up by hand because their rings are cleaner.

Sometimesjustonesecond Thu 16-Jul-15 07:47:57

I just use a silver cloth on mine.
I clean gold and stones with a very soft toothbrush and washing up liquid.

cozietoesie Thu 16-Jul-15 07:51:26

What sort of composition of jewellery do you have now? (eg metals and types of insets/stones.) Some of them might react very badly indeed to 'heavy' cleaning.

wowfudge Thu 16-Jul-15 10:46:30

Baking soda = bicarb OP. An ultrasonic jewellery cleaner is a good way of cleaning jewellery and gentle for stones. Aldi and Lidl sell them from time to time for around £20.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 16-Jul-15 12:18:56

Thanks everyone. No stones, mostly silver earrings and necklaces. I di t hsve any expensics jewellery so hsppy to risk it! Does anyone know the quantities of bicarb involved?

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 16-Jul-15 12:20:21

Sorry, typing on too small a screen. That should read "I don't have any expensive jewellery".

KondoAttitude Mon 20-Jul-15 20:29:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sometimesjustonesecond Mon 20-Jul-15 20:38:14

silver dip has wrecked some of my silver jewellery. I will use it for cheap silver earrings but my expensive silver now just gets a jewellery cloth

PigletJohn Mon 20-Jul-15 21:30:27

in what way ruined?

Sometimesjustonesecond Mon 20-Jul-15 22:09:35

It made some of it have a yellow tinge to it

PigletJohn Mon 20-Jul-15 22:19:12

never seen that. I usually comes out silvery white, brighter than if you used polish, but slightly misty. Was it plated?

cozietoesie Mon 20-Jul-15 23:09:54

I've never seem that either and I have had a lot of silver to be cleaned in my time. Are you sure that the pieces you cleaned and that went yellow were real silver and not an alloy of some sort?

cozietoesie Mon 20-Jul-15 23:14:59

PS - or that they might have been dipped in some sort of lacquer or other preparation originally designed to prevent tarnishing?

Sometimesjustonesecond Mon 20-Jul-15 23:25:38

I thought they were silver. Were presents and bought abroad so I cant really ask.

cozietoesie Mon 20-Jul-15 23:50:30

No, you can't really. I'd just keep on using the jewellery cloth then and be storing them in a way which doesn't expose them to air when you're not wearing them - as you're probably doing anyway.

(Not all silver is made with the same constituent parts: silver is hardly ever completely pure - like most gold, it has greater or lesser amounts of other metals in it and if it was foreign silver, it might have a metal in it which is not so common in the UK.)

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