How to clean silver?
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Every owner of a silver product, be it a modest ring, a pectoral cross, or an old great-grandmother candlestick, knows that over time, no matter how hard you try to save it, silver still darkens and loses its noble metallic luster. Therefore, silver things require regular cleaning. If these things are very valuable, antique, it is better not to risk it and take your silver treasures to a jeweler who, for a small fee, will clean them properly. But if you do not have family table silver, then there is no need to go to the jewelry workshop - a simple chain or ring can be cleaned at home.
How to clean silver at home
All methods of home cleaning silverware can be divided into mechanical and chemical methods.
Mechanical ways to clean silver
Mechanical cleaning of silver products is based on the abrasive properties of substances that make up the composition of cleaning products. All these methods of cleaning are very simple and quite effective, however during mechanical cleaning the surface of silver products can be damaged.In addition, mechanical methods are not suitable for cleaning silver items with a complex shape, and jewelry with stones.
Cleaning with a stationery eraser
Take the softest eraser, designed to erase the pencil lines, and carefully walk them over the entire surface of the silver product. This method is good for cleaning products with a smooth surface - simple rings, spoons, cups. To clean the chain in this way will be quite difficult or impossible at all. Read about how to clean silver chains in our article How to clean a silver chain.
Cleaning silver with tooth powder or toothpaste
If you do not have tooth powder, inexpensive white toothpaste can replace it. Dampen the silver item in water, dip it into tooth powder (or brush it with toothpaste) and polish the surface of the product with a soft wool or flannel cloth to shine. This method, like the previous one, is suitable for cleaning products of simple form.
Cleaning with soda or crushed chalk
In the same way, as in the previous case, you can clean the silver, taking a little baking soda or crushed chalk instead of tooth powder.But it must be said that with the use of these cleaners the surface of silver is scratched more than when it is cleaned with tooth powder.
The principle of this unusual cleaning agent is the same: the lipstick, especially its inexpensive forms, contains microscopic mineral particles that remove plaque from the surface of silver products. Take a tube of lipstick, apply it on a silver item and polish it with a soft cloth. Wipe the product until you remove all the lipstick from it and until it shines like new.
Dry cleaning of silverware
Methods for chemical cleaning of silver products are based on the ability of certain substances to dissolve and remove dark deposits from the surface of silver.
Cleaning silver using special ready-made tools
In the jewelry stores all kinds of ready-made products are sold, specifically designed for the purification of products made from silver. These funds are usually available in the form of liquids or in the form of hermetically packed wet wipes. They must be applied in accordance with the instructions attached to them.Such means not only quickly and accurately clean silver, but also create on its surface a thin protective film that protects silver from oxidation. This cleaning method is best suited for cleaning silver jewelry with precious and semi-precious stone inserts.
Silver cleaning with ammonia
This method is also suitable for cleaning products with stones. It can not be used only for cleaning items with pearls, corals or amber. Immerse the silverware in a 10% solution of ammonia for a quarter of an hour, then rinse the silver with clean boiled water and polish it with a soft cloth.
Cleaning with citric acid solution.
In this way, you can clean jewelry without inserts from amber, pearls or corals. Prepare a solution of citric acid at the rate of 100 grams of dry acid per 700 grams of water. Heat the solution to a boil, put silver in it and hold it in the solution for ten minutes. To enhance the effect, you can put a piece of copper wire in the solution tank and heat the solution for ten minutes in a water bath. After cleaning, rinse products with alkaline mineral water and polish them.
To clean your silver as seldom as possible, look after it properly. The main reasons for the darkening of silver:
- High humidity;
- Exposure of aggressive chemicals to it, for example, chlorine contained in tap water or household chemicals;
- The interaction of silver with sulfur, which is found in some medicines, rubber products, human sweat, cosmetics, and in some foods, such as onions and egg yolks.
In order to prevent the darkening of silver products:
- Store silver in a separate, better glass or stone box, away from household chemicals and medicines.
- At the bottom of the box put a few tablets of activated charcoal or a piece of camphor, wrapped in a piece of linen fabric.
- Take off your jewelry before swimming in the sea or pool.
- Remove jewelry while doing homework and cooking.
- When removing the silver item for long-term storage, wrap it in a piece of food grade aluminum foil.
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