Non Toxic Way to Clean Your Jewelry

Do you have silver jewelry that you no longer wear because it's tarnished? Or maybe you're like me and you regularly clean your silver at home but you'd like to stop using chemical based cleaners.  Below are step by step instructions of how to use items you probably already have to remove tarnish from your silver.  

Let's take a second to understand the benefits of cleaning your jewelry this way.

1. It's EASY! Chances are you have everything you already need.  You'll notice in the video I cleaned multiple rings at once, in my kitchen, while enjoying an evening glass of wine!

2. It's non-toxic.  This is a big one for me.  I've been trying to make simple changes in my daily life to reduce my toxic load.  This means limiting the amount of chemicals and toxins that I spray in the air or pour down the drain.  These toxins affect my own health as well as accumulate in our atmosphere and water resources.  Even if that's not a concern for you, your general health and safety should be.  

Below is an example of what I have previously used.  This is a type of silver cleaner you can purchase at Target or on Amazon.  

Notice that the back states that it contains Thiourea.  Thiourea is a identified as a know CARCINOGEN!  It can have ill effects when breathed in or exposed to skin.  Exposure may damage bone marrow and cause reduction in red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet count.  Wow.  I am always surprised by how many toxic substances are allowed in products we use daily like household cleaners and skincare items.  

Now, I don't expect you to read every label or immediately throw away everything in your house that's considered potentially toxic.  That's not realistic for any of us.  What is realistic is to seek out healthier non-toxic options once you've run out of what you're already using.  If you don't like it, or think it's not as effective, you can always go back to using poison.  There might be things that you're not willing to give up (toxic or not) and at least this way you have acknowledged the risks and decided what's right for you. 

I think this process is easy, works efficiently, and saves you money because you probably already have these items in your house. 

You can skip to the video if you prefer to watch this process in action, otherwise here's how it goes:
1. Line your glass dish with a single piece of aluminum foil then sprinkle over an even layer of baking soda.  You can start with less and always add more if necessary so don't worry too much about it being a specific amount.
2. Pour hot water in the dish.  Careful, it may foam up a bit.  You really only need enough to cover whatever silver item you are putting in the dish, so it shouldn't be a lot of water anyway.
3. Add your silver items.  I recommend starting with just one piece so you can see how the process goes.  You may want to work your way up to doing multiple pieces at a time, but you will notice the more you try and do all at once the slower or less effective this process is.
4. Agitate and Wait.  I use a pair of wooden chopsticks or silicone kitchen tongs to move things around a bit.  Don't use any metal items in this mixture!  The only metal you want reacting to this mix are your silver pieces. You will notice a sulfur smell so feel free to do this near an open window for some ventilation.  You should witness your items getting cleaner and the water turning slightly yellow/brown.  
5. Rinse your pieces in clean water.  I usually keep a separate dish of filtered water next to the dish that has the baking soda in it, that way I can just plop them in as I take them out of the cleaning mixture.  Then I lay the cleaned and rinsed items on a towel to dry.  
*Do NOT use this method on silver jewelry that contains soft stones or minerals such as pearls and turquoise! I would also avoid any items hat have details made from resin or enamel.  If you're unsure I would recommend using a polishing cloth and polish your item by hand.  Better safe than sorry!
I hope this was helpful, let me know if you try this technique at home!

Leave a comment