need tips on cleaning sterling silver , I have a ring that looks rusted over?

posted 1 year ago in Rings
Post # 2
2584 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - County courthouse

Silver jewelry polish should do the trick…especially the ones where you soak first and then scrub with the little brush. If not that a sunshine polishing cloth would also work. Google both, they are not too hard to find. Good luck!

Post # 3
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Blue Nile sells a great polishing cloth. Works like a charm!

Post # 4
2956 posts
Sugar bee

Neat trick for cleaning silver.

If you have anything that is so complicated that it is impossible to clean this is a neat trick but don’t try it on anything valuable (financially or emotionally) or glued. Also, don’t use it on soft stones such as emeralds, or pearls.

Put hot water in a small bowl. Add a few tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda to the water. Put jewellery in the liquid and then add a few pieces of aluminium foil. 

You start off with silver oxide plus aluminium  and you end up with silver plus aluminium oxide. You’ll even see bubbles of oxygen coming off the jewellery.

It’s lots of fun and it’s kitchen chemistry!

Leave it for a few minutes. Then take the jewellery out.  Rinse it in cold water and then dry it carefully.


Post # 5
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Silver tarnishes naturally and fairly quickly. You will need to clean off any dirt or debris in some warm water with a little bit of washing up liquid in it. Then dry thoroughly with a silver polishing cloth to polish any of the tarnish off. 

Post # 6
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

The aluminium foil trick always works. I use it all the time. Basically just take a bowl of hot water, add a tspn of salt and some pieces of foil, and drop your silvery jewellery in there. Let it soak for 5 minutes and simply pull out the ring and wipe it off with a cloth. Voila. Repeat if VERY tarnished.

Post # 7
535 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I cleaned a silver ring once by putting it in a glass of coca cola for a while. It worked for me. It wasn’t a valuable piece though.

Post # 8
536 posts
Busy bee

I purchased a Sunshine Polishing Cloth on Amazon. I’ve done the aluminum foil trick a few times, but it didn’t take off much tarnish on my older, heavyweight silver. I haven’t worn my spoon rings in almost 10 years. After using the cloth, they shine like new!

Post # 9
16 posts

Either silver polish and a soft cloth, or simple whitening toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush. Wet the ring and brush, then gently scrub the toothpaste over the silver. Leave for a few minutes, then rinse. Might not be suitable on softer gemstones. 

Post # 10
2503 posts
Sugar bee

noobee92 :   Supersleuth :  The aluminum foil method actually isn’t recommended as it can result in pitting. Neither are most liquid solutions, which can eat away at more of the silver than you want them to. They will work to get the silver shiny, but they might cause lasting damage to the finish. (I know Supersleuth said not to do it on valuable pieces, so you may know this already!)  

A silver polishing cream or just soap & water and a polishing cloth are your best options. You can also store silver in special boxes lined with silvercloth to prevent oxidation; in a pinch keeping silver in any box rather than out and exposed to the air also helps. 

Post # 11
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

I have a large, solid 925 sterling silver locket that I’ve been cleaning occasionally for years using boiling water, aluminum foil, and bicarbonate of soda. I haven’t noticed any pitting; it is my understanding that visible pitting can occur in silver plating with a significant amount of copper or zinc in it. 

The electrochemical method does leave microscopic pitting on sterling silver or purer (since it still contains copper), which can make the piece more prone to tarnishing in the future because of the microscopically uneven surface. This method will also remove factory-applied patinas, which may not be desired (it can leave an overly white appearance in places due to the copper being removed and leaving fine silver behind).

I’ve used the aluminum electrochemical method instead of physical polishing because the locket has fine details that I don’t want to wear down over time through the abrasion. The details are also difficult to clean between, and I’ve found that the electrochemical method works best for that.

I think there are tradeoffs for different methods, so the best choice will depend on the piece.

Post # 12
596 posts
Busy bee

Walmart sells a silver cleaning solution that is amazing all you have to do is soak a few seconds and rinse and then use a polishing cloth to make it shine. You’ll find it in their jewlery department. 

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