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A good silver cleaner!? HELP!!

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Miss Fortune

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All of my Tiffany jewelry looks awful! I have a cream silver cleaner but it doesn''t work. Looks good for a day or so and then turns again very quickly. Is there a liquid cleaner I could dip it in to keep it nice and shiny? TIA!
 

MichelleCarmen

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Maybe all Tiffany silver is that way because even with my dip cleaner, my stuff tarnishes within a few days. Supposedly if you keep your pieces in the little pouches, they stay white longer.

The dip stuff I use is from Target and is around $5.00. Possibly there is a more "high end" silver cleaner? lol
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Hopefully someone can suggest a brand.
 

Miss Fortune

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yeah, at this point it all looks so shabby that I can''t even wear it ya know??
 

VRBeauty

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This is based on my experience only -- hopefully a real silver expert will chime in soon!

A gentle rubbing with a good silver polish cloth is your best and safest bet for jewelry. Tarnish is oxidized silver, so when you remove it you're actually removing a bit of the silver. Needless to say the less you remove the better, hence the use of a cloth rather than immersing the jewelry in a chemical. When a cleaner is called for, my favorite is haggerty silver foam. It's gentle but does remove tarnish well. Maas cream is another option -- it's supposed to inhibit tarnish and it does leave a very nice shine. I've had mixed results with Maas cream but I they were limited to using it on my silverware, and were probably related to frequent washings. I haven't had problems when I've used it with jewelry, but because it is very effective/agressive at removing tarnish it's not my first choice.

I'm not sure what dip cleaners you're using, but some of the tarnish removing dips (as well as the home remedies involving aluminum foil and salt and stuff) are very harsh. They seem to remove any protective finish and seem to be able to finely etch the surface, leaving it less shiny and more prone to tarnishing.
 

tommalle

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I would NEVER put silver, especially Tiffany silver in those cheap liquid cleaners. It eats up the metal. Before I knew this I had 3 pair of ss earrings that I wore often and cleaned often as well. It took gouges out of all of my posts. They were no longer smooth and it irritated my ears so badly that I eventually threw all of them into the garbage. And these were earrings that were loved dearly.

You can use a silver polishing cloth if the jewelry is smooth with no hard to reach areas. Also you can get an ionic jewelry cleaner . It does an amazing job on silver that has hard to reach areas such as a rope or chain necklace. Ionic cleaners will clean gold, silver, gemstones, diamonds...almost everything. It does a fabulous job on diamonds, let me tell ya.

I have the cleaner from speedbrite which can be found at speedbrite.com, of course. The little machine is about $100 depending on the size. You also need to buy the cleaning concentrate. I love this thing and have never cleaned my jewelry with anything else since I got it. Believe it or not I no longer go into jewelry stores hoping that they will ask if I want a free ring cleaning.

Getting back to the silver, oxygen makes silver tarnish. So the best way to keep oxygen away from silver is store it in a plastic bag. They also make special jewlery boxes that are liined with antitarnish material and little plastic looking things that you put into your jewelry box. I have never used either of those things so I am not sure if they work. Lastly the more you wear your silver the less it will tarnish.

PS. Don''t use liquid silver cleaner!!!
 

geckodani

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The Mr.Wizard way:

1. Line a shallow bowl with tin foil.
2. Add silver to the dish, slightly overlapping.
3. Add 1tbsp baking soda
4. Add 1tbsp salt
5. Add hot water.
6. Watch it bubble.

Not sure I would do this with Tiffany pieces.... but it works well on my cheapie silver stuff!
 

T L

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Date: 1/6/2009 3:39:57 PM
Author: geckodani
The Mr.Wizard way:

1. Line a shallow bowl with tin foil.
2. Add silver to the dish, slightly overlapping.
3. Add 1tbsp baking soda
4. Add 1tbsp salt
5. Add hot water.
6. Watch it bubble.

Not sure I would do this with Tiffany pieces.... but it works well on my cheapie silver stuff!
Thanks for posting this, it's a very cheap, safe and easy way to clean tarnish off of silver without rubbing it to death. It also gets the tarnish out of hard to remove crevices. It should be safe for most stones except those that are glued in, just make sure you rinse the piece with water afterwards so there is no residue. The silver must touch the foil and be completely immersed in the solution to get clean. This will get tarnish off any any metal, not just silver. Even gold will tarnish after a while since it's not 24K.

I think 3M sells anti tarnish papers, so if you use a plastic baggie to hold your silver, throw one of these in there with them. You should clean the silver first and then it will stay clean with the antitarnish papers. There are also anti-tarnish jewelry boxes as well.
 

DiamanteBlu

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Date: 1/6/2009 3:35:17 PM
Author: tommalle

Getting back to the silver, oxygen makes silver tarnish.

Actually, airborne sulfur compounds [particularly hydrogen sulfide] are what react with silver to create the characteristic blackish patina of silver sulfide - aka tarnish.
 

Miss Fortune

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thanks everyone!! I''ve just been using some cream silver cleaner that I got from the grocery store. I''ll try to find a good silver cloth. THANKS!!
 

vablackwell

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Hi -

I just cleaned some silver this weekend using a foil pan and the baking soda method described in the thread. It worked great. I read that this method doesn''t rub away the silver like polishing does, since it''s more of a chemical reaction removing the tarnish.

I soaked a thimble that was over 100 yrs old and my silver place settings. Then I used a soft cloth and a gentle polish to remove the rest of the tarnish, and it all looks great. I was amazed at how well the soaking worked.
 

LGK

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Cape Cod polishing cloths. I love them. They smell like vanilla. Also work on other metals. They are pre-saturated with cleaner, they come in packets of two or cans of... uh, 8? I collect various sterling things (antique flatware, dance purses, art nouveau anything with poppies) and that's what I use to polish; they smell WAY better than anything else, they last forever if you aren't a space cadet & forget to seal the container. You can buy them off Amazon.com, though I get mine at the antique mall I work at.

ETA: You can also store silver with camphor chunks to prevent tarnish- one of the dealers who sells sterling at the aforementioned antique mall I work at taught me that; he puts chunks of it in his showcases and his silver NEVER tarnishes, even after years. It does stink though!
 

motownmama

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ditto - I also use the Cape Cod cloths - buy on-line if you don''t have them in your store.
 

AmberGretchen

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Wow - what a cool thread. I am going to have to try some of these techniques - I have some lovely (very large) silver serving and display pieces that belonged to my grandmother that desperately need a good cleaning - I''ll be really curious to see which of these methods works!
 

anyname

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Jul 18, 2008
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i had a necklace cleaned at Tiffany''s it was relatively cheap but it took almost a week. Anyway, the sales rep I spoke with said that the cloth was the best way to maintain, but there isn''t any really great way to clean them without taking them into the store (..yea.....) She also told me to store the jewelry in the pouch, zip lock bag and store in a dry, cool environment. I''ve tried to cleaning clothes and have had no luck with them.
 

WinkHPD

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Gemcare Products, sold at fine jewelers every where.

Works!

Use the paste occassionally, then soak it in the liquid, rince in warm water, blow it dry with a personal sized steamer or with the compressed air that some use to dust their computer keyboards.

Safe, simple, effective.

Wink
 

VRBeauty

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Date: 1/6/2009 3:39:57 PM
Author: geckodani
The Mr.Wizard way:

1. Line a shallow bowl with tin foil.
2. Add silver to the dish, slightly overlapping.
3. Add 1tbsp baking soda
4. Add 1tbsp salt
5. Add hot water.
6. Watch it bubble.

Not sure I would do this with Tiffany pieces.... but it works well on my cheapie silver stuff!
Some pieces are intentionally antiqued to look older -- check out the Van Craeycrest threads and you''ll see examples of this antiquing on new pieces. The "Mr. Wizard" cleaning method could and probably will remove this antiquing from silver. I''ve used it, but only on old pieces that were too thin, or had too many nooks and crannies to clean with a gentler method.

My previous obsession was vintage Mexican sterling silver jewelry, which was followed by vintage silver flatwear. Both of these obsessions were more affordable than the search for lovely diamonds and gold jewelry.
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But I digress... It only took one or two experiments with these homemade remedies to realize that they should never be used on the good stuff, at least where silver is concerned.
 

beaujolais

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1. Line a shallow bowl with tin foil.
2. Add silver to the dish, slightly overlapping.
3. Add 1tbsp baking soda
4. Add 1tbsp salt
5. Add hot water.
6. Watch it bubble.>>


But, can I put silver with gemstones in this solution. The gemstones are no big deal - blue topaz & peridot - but I don''t want to ruin them, either.

Thanks.
 

Miss Fortune

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Jan 11, 2008
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Date: 1/6/2009 3:39:57 PM
Author: geckodani
The Mr.Wizard way:


1. Line a shallow bowl with tin foil.

2. Add silver to the dish, slightly overlapping.

3. Add 1tbsp baking soda

4. Add 1tbsp salt

5. Add hot water.

6. Watch it bubble.


Not sure I would do this with Tiffany pieces.... but it works well on my cheapie silver stuff!

Hey gecko! I just tried this and it worked really well! Thanks very much!!
 

geckodani

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Jun 25, 2008
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Date: 1/7/2009 2:45:30 AM
Author: sonomacounty

1. Line a shallow bowl with tin foil.
2. Add silver to the dish, slightly overlapping.
3. Add 1tbsp baking soda
4. Add 1tbsp salt
5. Add hot water.
6. Watch it bubble.>>


But, can I put silver with gemstones in this solution. The gemstones are no big deal - blue topaz & peridot - but I don''t want to ruin them, either.

Thanks.
I have. And other then making sure to rinse them really well so they don''t end up with a salt ring - they took no harm.
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MissFortune - I''m so glad it worked for you!
 
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