Let’s face it- sterling silver, although beautiful and the preferred jewelry metal for some people, doesn’t always look nice. When tarnish sets in, sterling silver jewelry can turn ugly real fast, and if you don’t wear your sterling jewelry often, there’s unfortunately no way to avoid tarnish. But have no fear! If you’ve just pulled a piece of sterling jewelry out of your jewelry box, but it’s turned gray or black with tarnish, Day’s is here to help you get rid of that tarnish and get back to being your fabulous self, silver accessories included. 

Baking Soda is Your Friend

Baking soda is abrasive, but gentle enough to clean sterling without damaging the metal, perfect for buffing stubborn tarnish stains away. You can use baking soda toothpaste and an old toothbrush to carefully scrub away the tarnish, or you can get a little more complicated with a dip. 

For a dip, you’ll need a heatproof jar or container, baking soda, boiling water, and aluminum foil.

  • Put your heatproof container in the sink- what we’re about to do might get messy! Fill it about ⅔ full with boiling water.
  • Wrap your sterling jewelry in aluminum foil. Form loose balls with the foil, tight enough so that your jewelry stays inside the foil, but no need to make them compact. Drop the foil packets into the hot water. 
  • Add two heaping tablespoons of baking soda to the water. It’ll foam up and possibly overflow (aren’t you glad your container is in the sink?) and bubble in the container. Once the baking soda stops foaming, remove the packets from the water with tongs or a spoon.
  • Rinse the foil under cool water, and unfold the packets. Rinse off the jewelry and use a toothbrush and warm, soapy water to brighten the finish if needed.
day's jewelers cleaning supplies

Polishing Cloth

Not all sterling is created equal, and neither are gemstones. Porous stones like lapis lazuli, opals, and turquoise to name just a few should never be placed in water, so you’re going to want to stick with some very careful cleaning. If the piece of sterling is big enough, a toothbrush and baking soda paste can be used, but be extremely careful when rinsing off the paste. 

If you want a beloved piece of sterling with a delicate stone, using a polishing cloth is your best bet. The soft cloth typically features two distinct pieces of cloth, one for applying a special chemical blend and another for buffing the blend off, leaving behind a shiny silver appearance. 

Although the cloth is a much better alternative than any risk of water exposure, the chemical treatment on a polishing cloth can harm stones like pearls, so exercise caution. 

day's jewelers sterling silver jewelry

Professional Cleaning

When in doubt, or when dealing with some heavy tarnishing, take your jewelry to a professional. Not only will the professionals know exactly how to treat your jewelry, but their equipment is highly specialized, better for getting the gleam of your sterling silver jewelry back. 

At Day’s, our extensive Service Department is equipped to get your jewelry cleaned. Our knowledgeable staff will take the utmost care of your jewelry. Stop into one of our eight locations and shop around while you have your jewelry cleaned. We’re happy to help, and get your jewelry back to its beautiful state.  

Until next time,

Amelia Tuttle

Copywriter & E-Commerce Assistant