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
- An old tray or shallow dish
- Five heaped teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda (bicarb) for each piece you are cleaning
- 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
- Make sure your tray or dish is clean. Bicarb can damage metal - if you're worried line your tray with silver foil.
- Sprinkle five heaped teaspoons of bicarb onto the tray. Cover with water and mix into a paste (like ketchup).
- Use a soft toothbrush or cotton bud to help you coat each piece and work the paste gently into all the details.
- When the jewellery is thoroughly covered leave it for 15min to let the bicarb work its magic.
- Remove the jewellery and rinse off all the paste.
- If you’re happy with the results - dry with a soft lint-free cloth or leave to air dry.
If the jewellery is heavily tarnished you may need to repeat the process a couple of times.
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
- 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.