DIY Jewelry Cleaner

how to clean tarnish from jewelry

Over the years I have learned a few things about caring for jewelry. Keeping metal clean and shiny is good for my business. Here is an easy homemade jewelry cleaner recipe to remove tarnish from sterling silver.

CAUTION! Some stones can be damaged by ammonia. Pearls, fossils, shells, and petrified wood will dissolve in ammonia. A good way to remember this is to avoid anything that has ever been alive. Stones, such as turquoise and many other natural gemstones, are almost always treated with compounds and fillers that can be removed by ammonia (and even water), causing the stone to become dull and/or lose its color.

Unless you know exactly what your jewelry is made of, use another method.

That said, here is an almost magical homemade jewelry cleaner. (Remember to use caution with certain stones).

  1. Place a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of a glass or ceramic dish shiny side up.
  2.  Place your silver jewelry on the foil.
  3. Cover the jewelry with plain non-sudsy ammonia.
  4. Brush with an old toothbrush to clean the crevices.
  5.  The tarnish is usually removed in seconds!
  6. Rinse in clear water.

For heavier tarnish, you may need to repeat this process. If left in the solution for too long the tarnish may jump back onto the silver. Also be aware that the darkened accents on some silver jewelry may be removed along with the tarnish.

Caution: Don’t forget, some stones are damaged by ammonia. See above for details.

diy tarnish remover by Carole Shelton earthbeatdesigns.com