Do you have a silver necklace that has lost its luster?
Before you head out to buy some fancy specialty cleaners made especially for silver, try something you already have at home: toothpaste.
Toothpaste contains mild abrasives that can help polish away tarnish from your silver jewelry and other items.
The following method is a quick and easy way to restore shine to your silver with toothpaste.
Let’s get started.
What You’ll Need:
- White toothpaste
- A soft cloth or microfiber cloth
- Bowl or dishpan
- Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the jewelry.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the jewelry. The toothpaste will remove any tarnish from the silver, but be sure not to scrub too hard or you risk scratching your piece.
- Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
- Repeat the process until you’re satisfied.
Is Toothpaste Safe to Use on Silver?
Although toothpaste is a great way to clean silver, you should use it with caution. Most toothpaste is abrasive and contains chemicals that can scratch your jewelry or damage certain materials.
Toothpaste is not safe to use on pearls – they are organic material and need a more delicate approach. Toothpaste can also be dangerous on other gemstones if they’re very fragile or soft, such as emeralds, tanzanite, and opals.
In general, though, toothpaste is an effective way to clean most silver jewelry—and if you’re worried about damaging any of your precious gems or metals, you can always take them to a professional jeweler for cleaning.
How Often Should You Clean Silver Jewelry?
How often you clean your silver jewelry depends on how much wear it’s getting. For the most part, a good rule of thumb is to clean your silver jewelry every few months. This can be done with just soap and water or by using the toothpaste method mentioned above.
If you wear silver jewelry daily, the oxidation process will happen more quickly, and you may need to clean your pieces more frequently (at least every few weeks).
For instance, if you regularly wear a silver chain around your neck or layer several silver bracelets on one wrist, cleaning them once in a while might not be enough.
Make sure to inspect all of your jewelry after each cleaning and check for signs of tarnish buildup before putting it back in your jewelry box.
Tips to Keep Your Silver Jewelry Sparkling
- Don’t clean your jewelry in the sink. A sink can scratch or even damage silver, so avoid cleaning it there. Use a dishpan or another flat surface that has been covered with an old towel.
- Keep your jewelry in a zip-lock bag and then in a jewelry box to help keep off tarnish.
- Store your silver jewels in a cool, dry place and away from moisture to prevent corrosion and tarnish. These ideal conditions apply to other metals and stones as well.
- Use a soft cloth to dry off the silver after you’ve cleaned it. Always use a soft cloth when cleaning any jewelry because regular ones can scratch the metal or leave fibers behind on your precious gems if you’re not careful!
- Avoid cleaning with ammonia and bleach, which may damage pieces!
And, of course, there are preventative measures you can take to keep your silver jewelry looking fresh:
- Avoid wearing your silver pieces when you’re sweating. This will help to keep the oxidization at bay, as well as other discoloration that can occur from sweat.
- Take off your silver jewelry when cleaning with harsh chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia. The chemicals in these substances can discolor the metal and damage the stone settings on some of your pieces.
- Remove your silver jewelry before swimming in a chlorinated pool. Chlorine is known for its bleaching properties, so it will make the white color of your pieces look duller and more yellowed than they should be.
- Don’t wear any hair care products while wearing your silver jewelry. Even if you don’t think hairspray or gel is getting directly on your jewelry, it will still affect the appearance because many hair care products contain harmful ingredients that can dull the metal without ever touching it directly.
That’s it. That’s how you use toothpaste to clean silver jewelry.
I hope you give this method a try the next time your silver beauties need a little sparkle.
Looking for more cleaning tips? See my article on how to deodorize wood cabinets with baking soda and vinegar.
Thank you for dropping by my blog.
-Baking Soda Guy
Top Image by Nile from Pixabay