Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cleaning silver jewelry - easy, cheap, and eco-friendly

Today was a fun day of light-fixture shopping, and is it just mine, or do all men turn into big whiny babies when they go to ABC Carpet & Home? I swear DH could just not stop b*ing and moaning, calling it old, ugly, and overpriced. How is it that when it comes to furniture, he turns into a freaking Architectural Digest stager? After 2 floors, I had to leave, and we had a much more amicable time at Design Within Reach.

So it was a quiet evening, and I got around to cleaning my jewelry. First all the diamonds/gems got soaked in a shot glass of gin for about 4 hours. It's really great at loosening up all the bits of god-knows-what stuck in the setting-- quite disgusting. Then they got blasted with the steamer. (I got one from with a coupon-- this is a different one, but if it cleans like mine, it's a great deal. And for filling out their survey, they gave me a code for 20% off good through Aug 8, "XXM17962")

Anyway, back to the topic at hand: while browsing the Tina Tang website for bracelets and rings, I saw she had a video demonstration on cleaning silver jewelry using just a tinfoil aluminum pan, boiling water, and baking soda. I was pretty skeptical but willing to give it a try-- it's cheap, it's easy, and I have *tons* of Tiffany & Co silver jewelry that seems to turn black every time I turn around!! (UGH!)

Well, the directions are simple.
1. Place the silver jewelry on the pan, making sure the silver of the jewelry makes contact with the pan (don't overcrowd)
2. Pour boiling water into the pan, enough to cover all the jewelry
3. Quickly sprinkle baking soda all over the surface of the water (I used about half the box)

Now, it will bubble and steam as the baking soda reacts with the tarnish, so try and keep your nose out of the fumes-- it made me sneeze! It doesn't smell pleasant, but it's not so bad, and the bottom line is.. it WORKS!! It works so much better than that crappy paste I keep under the sink (not to mention no scratch marks from rubbing too hard), and it gets in all the crevices of the jewelry, the ones I can't reach with a polishing cloth.

I actually did it twice to some pieces which were a bit more intricate and had more nooks and crannies (i.e. David Yurman)-- and they are REALLY bright and shiny now. Now I just need to go buy more baking soda so I can do this to more of my silver. NEVER again will I do my annual ritual of dutifully bringing all my T&Co jewelry in for polishing at $8 a ring!!


  1. Anonymous8/02/2010

    This is soo helpful!! Thank you!!!! =D

  2. You're welcome! I will definitely be cleaning my silver using this DIY tactic :) I think it will allow me to wear more of my jewelry more often!

  3. Dearest Tina,

    Thanks for this great advise! Very welcome and I plan on sharing it with my readers one day... linking you into my blog!
    Did Tweet it now...

    Greetings from Georgia/USA



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