An Eco-Friendly Way to Clean Silver Jewellery

During these times I’ve found there is still some solace in simple tasks that use your hands. The end result of cleaning your jewellery is a tray of sparkling, bright silver jewellery that I hope will give your spirits a lift. With that in mind I thought I’d put together a quick guide to cleaning your solid sterling silver rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

What you need to clean jewellery sustainably

eco jewellery cleaning materials

  1. An old tray or shallow dish
  2. Water
  3. Five heaped teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda (bicarb) for each piece you are cleaning
  4. A cotton bud or old tooth brush

I like the bamboo toothbrushes from my local Zero Waste Company on the Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells.

Method for eco jewellery cleaning

    making bicarb paste for eco jewellery cleaning

    1. Make sure your tray or dish is clean. Bicarb can damage metal - if you're worried line your tray with silver foil.
    2. Sprinkle five heaped teaspoons of bicarb onto the tray. Cover with water and mix into a paste (like ketchup).
    3. Use a soft toothbrush or cotton bud to help you coat each piece and work the paste gently into all the details.
    4. When the jewellery is thoroughly covered leave it for 15min to let the bicarb work its magic.
    5. Remove the jewellery and rinse off all the paste.
    6. If you’re happy with the results - dry with a soft lint-free cloth or leave to air dry.

    Brushing jewellery with bicarb paste

    If the jewellery is heavily tarnished you may need to repeat the process a couple of times.

    Jewellery pieces in bicarb paste

    I also offer professional jewellery cleaning in my Tunbridge Wells jewellery shop and Atelier which is complimentary for pieces brought from me or with a small nominal fee for batches of jewellery or other people’s work.

    Some Do’s and Don’ts for Cleaning Silver Jewellery

    Solid silver earrings coated with bicarb cleaning paste

    • Don’t use detergents with chloride, bleach, ammonia, acetone or metal cleaner. I also don’t recommend silver dip.
    • Don’t use alcohol or lemon juice – especially on stones.
    • Don’t be tempted to use something sharp like a needle or pin to scrape away dirt as it’s easy to scratch stones and damage fixtures.
    • Don’t be tempted to put your jewellery in the dishwasher.
    • Do consider investing in a silver cleaning cloth if you like to wear silver jewellery.

    Do get in touch here, if you have any questions or if you’d like some specific advice on cleaning a precious piece of jewellery.

    eco-friendly jewellery cleaning