Do you have a tarnished sterling silver piece that you are hoping to clean, but don’t want to use any harsh chemicals? If so, you are in luck, as there are several safe and natural ways to clean sterling silver, many of which involve items that you already have in your home.
Cleaning Sterling Silver with Corn Starch
A quick search of your pantry might find you a great solution to clean your sterling silver. A mixture of cornstarch and water in the form of a paste can make your silver look like new again. Apply the paste with a damp cloth, then let it dry and rub it off with a mildly abrasive towel. If you don’t happen to have any cornstarch at home, cream of tartar could be a suitable substitute.
If your sterling silver jewelry or silverware has lost its shine and luster, try soaking it in a solution of ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Allow it to sit for two or three hours, and then remove it and rinse with cold water. Make sure you dry off your piece thoroughly in order to prevent tarnishing.
If you want your silver to sparkle, a mixture of one tablespoon lemon juice with1 ½ cups of water and ½ cup of instant dry milk can be a good option. The end result will be silver pieces that shine, all without the use of chemicals or store bought solutions. Not only is it a good option for silver jewelry, but the lemon solution can also be beneficial for rusty knives and other silver pieces.
Tomato-based pastes like ketchup are a good way to help restore your silver pieces back to their former glory. Use a small bowl and fill it up with ketchup, and then dunk in your silver piece of jewelry. To scrub the piece, use a toothbrush, as this can help to clean the areas that are hard to reach. You should only leave the ketchup on for a couple of minutes, and then use water to rinse it. A microfiber cloth is a good option for the final polish.
Sterling silver will react with moisture in order to create a layer of tarnish. Baking soda that is activated by hot water can dislodge this tarnish when aluminum is present, leaving your jewelry shiny and clean once again. To try out this option, boil enough water that your sterling silver piece can be completely submerged, and then add in a tablespoon of baking soda along with a sheet of aluminum foil. Use a plastic or wood utensil to move the item around so that all surfaces will contact the aluminum. Finally, rinse and wipe down the piece of jewelry, and you should be left with a beautiful piece.