I love silver earrings. They are affordable, classy, and work for every situation. When they tarnish they just don’t look as good though. I found an easy, cheap way to clean them that I’m very happy about.
I learned about this method when I bought a necklace with “liquid silver” beads on it. I asked the seller how to clean it when it got tarnished. I just couldn’t see myself polishing each little bead! I didn’t want to dip into a solution because it had small turquoise beads on it too. The seller said to just put it in baking soda for a while.
I was skeptical, but willing to try the baking soda. When the necklace got tarnished I put it along with some baking soda in a zip-top sandwich bag. The result? It does work, but not overnight. It takes more like a month. I’ve been working with this method for over a year now & have learned a few things.
It seems to help to move the bag around. Perhaps the baking soda acts like a gentle abrasive? It does not seem to damage the silver surface or the surface of any beads. I triple bag it to prevent the baking soda from sifting out when I am moving the bag. I sometimes shift it from hand to hand, turning the bag over each time. I do this while watching tv or on the phone. You can put more than one item in the baking soda at a time as long as you have enough baking soda to cover the jewelry in a generous layer.
Check on the items about once a week to see if they are done. You can remove them to wear when they look good to you. You can store them in a bag of baking soda if you like to keep them tarnish free. I don’t do that because I tend to forget about them that way.
If some of your items have tarnish in the grooves as part of the design, as with filigree and other designs, you will want to check on them more often. You don’t want the tarnish to come out of those grooves and cracks because that’s part of the design and look. Just remove them from the baking soda when they look right to you. This works for silver chains too, but check often to get the level of color you want. Again, some chain styles benefit from a bit of tarnish to show the design.
I would not use this method for any jewelry with crystals, whether they are cheap or expensive crystals. The baking soda might scratch the finish of the crystal enough to make it appear cloudy.
For most finished jewelry you can just blow any remaining baking soda from the items. Or tap them onto a napkin. You can also rinse them in cold water and then dry with a soft cloth.
Try this easy method that costs pennies and does not damage your jewelry. If at some point you want to toss the baking soda, just pour it in a drain to help it smell sweet. Gotta love baking soda! We buy it in bulk at Sam’s Club. Unlike some items, it never goes bad.
For more ways to use baking soda click on the labels below.