Plated silver refers to a thin coating of silver that jewelers fuse on top of less expensive materials. They accomplish this through a process known as electroplating, wherein they negatively charge a base material and soak it in a solution of positively charged silver molecules. While you can clean your plated silver jewelry and other objects using a store-bought solution, there are also some home remedies that can help.
Using standard white toothpaste can be a good remedy for polishing silver. According to the website Hints and Things, you should apply a coating of the toothpaste all over the surfaces of your silver-plated piece. For best results, run it under some warm water, and work the paste in with your fingers until it forms a lather. However, do not keep the toothpaste on the silver for too long, as it is a mild abrasive and could potentially damage the plating.
Baking Soda Paste
According to the website Care2, while toothpaste can be a good choice for cleaning smaller items, you may want to use a baking soda-based paste for larger items. Make the paste by simply mixing together some water and baking soda. Then, put some of the paste on a damp sponge, and scrub your silver. Rinse the object with hot water, and polish it dry with a clean, soft fabric. If your silver has particularly severe sections of tarnish, or a grayish-blackish film, leave the baking soda paste on for approximately an hour before rinsing it off.
Lemon juice, which is high in citric acid, is another home remedy for cleaning plated silver. Pour or squeeze some of the juice onto your silver, and then polish it with a clean, soft piece of fabric. For hard-to-reach sections of your silver-plated pieces, use a cotton ball to perform the polishing. According to Hints and Things, once you have finished polishing your pieces with the juice, store them in airtight, plastic containers to prevent tarnishing.
For this home remedy you will need an aluminum pie plate (or a plate covered in a sheet of aluminum foil), 1 tbsp. baking soda, 1 tbsp. salt, some hot water and a spoon. Start by adding your baking soda and salt to the plate, and then pour in the hot water. Stir the solution until both substances dissolve, and then place in your silver items until the tarnish on them disappears. This may take several seconds or a few minutes. According to the website Home Jewelry Business Success Tips, this remedy works by stripping the tarnish, which is actually an oxidized silver compound known as silver sulfide, off the silver and plating it onto the aluminum.
- Photo Credit Ancient silver coin ruble made of pure silver image by Olga Sapegina from Fotolia.com
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