Need HELP with sterling silver

aprilflower71July 20, 2004

DH thought he was doing a *good* thing when he cleaned my (solid, not plated) sterling silver chain and charm in my jewelry cleaner...Now he has a mess that looks slightly copper-ish with rainbow there any hope? Anyone know of a way to restore the finish at home? Is there even a way to restore the finish? DH is beside himself, and I'd like to surprise him by fixing it. Thanks in advance!


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I would polish it with a good silver cleaner like Wright's cream...rub it well with the sponge in the cleaner jar...rinse and buff with a clean soft cloth. If it is ever going to be "fixed" at home, that should do it! Otherwise it's off to the jeweler! Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 1:24PM
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Thanks so much for the advice, I'll give it a try this weekend - cross your fingers! :-)

thanks again,

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 6:50PM
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Found this on the web:

"Most Silver can be cleaned with warm soapy water. However, never use a cleaner that contains Ammonia, which will turn Silver black. Should this occur, Vinegar will reverse the effects of Ammonia. There are also commercial cleaners available but should be used with caution; always read the label. Do not put Silver in your dishwasher."

Here it is mentioned again:

" Ammonia will turn your sterling silver black.
Products such as Windex and standard Jewelry Cleaner have ammonia in them. . . DO NOT USE THEM!!!

Problems will develop and will not clean by conventional methods if ammonia and/or a product containing ammonia has been used.

Should you confront this situation, clean the jewelry with vinegar.

Vinegar will not clean silver, BUT it's opposite on the PH scale and will negate the effects of the ammonia.

After you clean with the vinegar, you can then clean the silver by conventional means; warm sudsy water and use a soft toothbrush, or approved sterling silver cleansers."


I would still be careful - vinegar is acidic, probably not good for sterling either. Try Silver Cleaner first, maybe that will work.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2004 at 9:41AM
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Thanks so much! I've got some vinegar in the pantry that I'll set aside for use if the silver polish doesn't work.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2004 at 8:55PM
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I SWEAR by Tarnax. No scrubbing, cleaning off creams - just dip it for a seond literally, rinse & dry. It's avail at many drug & grocery stores.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2004 at 2:51PM
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:) funny... the only jewelry in our house that isn't sterling are our wedding bands (white gold for strength) and a pair of opal earrings I couldn't resist...

and honestly...on the rare occasion that I don't just polish them on my jeans, or 'finger' polish them (my fingertips are about 1000 grit. most people's are about 1200. makes a great final buffing) I use toothpaste. the abrasive is fine enough not to ruin the polish, but enough that it cleans it up beautifully...

and scrambling them in eggs will restore the 'sulpher' black that accents stamped patterns.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 10:42AM
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I use that Quicksilver plate. Bought it 10 years ago, finally used it a few weeks ago and it really works. I know they sell it on QVC, but I bought mine at a local home show.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 5:07PM
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