A week or so back, I had an email from a customer overseas, asking how to clean her little Africa pendant she had purchased from me. I sent quite a detailed response, and was thinking it’s something I should share with everyone :)
For cleaning silver jewellery, I use a product called Silvo, which is a silver polish, to clean my pieces if necessary.. You get it at the supermarket here in South Africa – it’s the same stuff your mom probably uses to clean silver cutlery! I’m sure there must be equivalents to this in different parts of the world! ;)
Basically, you just shake the tin, then pour a tiny amount on a soft cotton cloth, then rub the piece gently over it – then use a clean part of the cloth to rub the polish off :) You’ll see the cloth go black when you rub the piece!
I do use a small amount of a metal called Indium in my alloying process, which helps retard the tarnishing process for a while, but if you’re slightly acidic, or live near the sea (like me in both cases!), the silver will eventually blacken..
If there is still some polish left on the edges – another nice cleaning trick is to pop it into a container of just boiled water, then add dishwashing liquid soap, and a tiny amount of ammonia. Then use a soft toothbrush to clean.
This is also great for rings (and gold jewellery) etc – especially with diamonds & other stones, where dirt gets trapped under the stones – you’ll see how shiny they come up!!
You can also use Silvo & a cloth to clean chains – but another nice tip is to put a little bit of washing powder & water into your cupped hand, and to rub the chain in your hands, this can also help clean it..
These are things that can help on a daily basis, just to clean your jewellery a little – but I’ll be 100% honest – there’s nothing for the home market that works as well as what’s in a jeweller’s studio! If you want your jewellery to look like new – take it to a local jeweller, and ask for a clean & polish.. Chains will be tumbled, and solid pieces polished by hand, and they will once again look like new! (This shouldn’t be expensive, but might be worth a small outlay, especially if you want to wear something for a special occasion!) :)
Anyhow – hope this little bit of information has helped! Have a fantastic day everyone :) Megs xx