In the past, when my jewelry became tarnished, I just sort of stopped wearing it. I have no idea why, but the thought never occurred to me to get jewelry cleaner. Then one day I realized that I had run out of jewelry to wear because it was all so dirty. Time to buy some cleaner! So I went and got that little red plastic jar of silver cleaner that we have all used before. I read the instructions, and dunked my bracelets and necklaces into the clear liquid. A few seconds later, they came out looking brand new. Holy crap. This stuff is amazing!
After a few uses though, the container was full of little flakes of silver tarnish. This stuff must be strong if it can remove that yucky stuff within a matter of seconds. So of course I started to wonder what was in this miracle in a bottle. Well, that’s where I ran into some problems. I couldn’t find the ingredients online anywhere. I looked on the back of the bottle, and there lies a warning that it contains acified thiourea, an agent known to cause cancer. Hmmm. Probably shouldn’t be dunking something in it and wearing it around my neck.
So how was I going to clean my jewelry without using toxic chemicals? I did a Google search and found a recipe on food.com. Weird, right? Although I wouldn’t eat this concoction, I had all the ingredients on hand and they were non-toxic. It had amazing reviews, so I decided to give it a try. Wow, I am so impressed. Not only did it completely clean my jewelry just as well as that toxic stuff, but it is also insanely cheap and easy to make!! Here are the instructions and some before and after photos. I tried it on rose gold and sterling silver and it easily cleaned both to a nice shine. No buffing required.
1 cup hot water
small piece of aluminum foil
1 TB each dish soap, baking soda and salt
Take a measuring cup and fill it with one cup of water. Microwave for 90 seconds, and add 1 Tablespoon each of baking soda, dish soap and salt. Mix well together and pour into a bowl with a small piece of aluminum foil. Add your jewelry and wait about 10 minutes, then rinse under cold water. It should look good as new!
For the original recipe and to read other people’s reviews, you can click here. And although this worked wonders for my silver and gold, take caution using it on say, your diamond engagement ring. Or anything with a gemstone for that matter. Might want to leave that to the professionals, just in case!
After I cleaned my necklaces, I was inspired to clean some other jewelry I had on hand. Yes all my jewelry is dirty. Don’t judge! I researched other methods and wanted to give them a shot. Baking soda and vinegar? Why not! I love this cleaning combination. So I soaked a sterling silver bracelet in a cup of vinegar with a teaspoon of baking soda for about 3 hours as suggested by some websites. This is obviously not a fast method if you are in a rush, and it actually didn’t do a whole lot. So then I tried a toothbrush and some baking soda and water. Just a gentle scrub and it looked better within a few minutes. Still not as good as the first method, but this bracelet was extremely tarnished as you can see. The baking soda scrubbing method might be better for more delicate, expensive jewelry. Here are the before and after photos of the bracelet.
After seeing these results I will never, ever buy jewelry cleaner again. Even the non-toxic kind, because I can make it myself for practically nothing! I hope I have inspired you to stop using that toxic stuff in a red jar, and start making your own!