Silver Jewelry

A Shining Guide to Polishing Silver Jewellery


Jewel Studio is your one-stop destination for all things silver jewellery! Silver’s ageless beauty and adaptability have prized it for centuries. Silver jewellery is not just a piece of adornment and decoration; it’s a work of art that can accentuate your beauty and elevate your style. However, over time, silver jewellery can lose its lustre and develop tarnish. Fear not! This guide will explore the art of polishing silver jewellery, ensuring your precious pieces shine as brightly as the day you acquired them.

Understanding Silver Jewellery

Before we dive into the world of silver jewellery polishing, let’s take a moment to understand this beautiful metal and the various types of silver jewellery. Silver, also known as sterling silver, is a precious metal used in jewellery-making for centuries. It is valued for its bright, white lustre and is more affordable than other precious metals like gold and platinum.

Types of Silver Jewelry

Sterling Silver: Sterling silver is the most common type of silver used in jewellery. To increase its strength, it consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals (usually copper). Sterling silver jewellery is durable and long-lasting, making it a popular choice for various designs.

Fine Silver: Fine silver, also known as pure silver, contains 99.9% pure silver. It is softer and more malleable than sterling silver, making it ideal for complex designs. However, it is more prone to damage and scratches.

Silver-Plated Jewellery: Silver-plated jewellery features a thin layer of silver on top of another metal (often brass or copper). While it may be more affordable, it is less durable and prone to tarnishing.

Why Does Silver Jewellery Tarnish?

Tarnish, that dark and dull layer that can form on silver jewellery, occurs due to a chemical reaction between silver and sulphur-containing compounds in the air. This reaction creates silver sulphide, which is responsible for the tarnished appearance. Tarnish can occur more rapidly in certain conditions, such as exposure to humidity, chemicals, or even your body’s natural oils. Thankfully, with proper care and regular maintenance, you can keep tarnish at bay and enjoy your silver jewellery’s brilliance.

The Art of Polishing Silver Jewellery

Polishing silver jewellery is a straightforward process that involves removing tarnish and restoring the metal’s shine. There are various methods and techniques to achieve this, and we’ll explore some of the most effective and accessible ones.

1. The Classic Silver Polishing Cloth

A silver polishing cloth is a simple and cost-effective way to restore the shine to your silver jewellery. These clothes are usually made of soft, lint-free fabric impregnated with a silver cleaner. Here’s how to use them:

  • Begin by gently wiping the surface of your silver jewellery with a cloth to remove any loose dirt or dust.
  • Next, use the cloth to buff the jewellery gently, back and forth. Pay extra attention to tarnished areas.
  • Keep going until the desired shine is achieved.

Silver polishing cloths are readily available and can be used repeatedly until they become too soiled. They are perfect for routine maintenance and small touch-ups.

2. Homemade Baking Soda Paste

Look no further than your kitchen for a DIY solution to polishing your silver jewellery. Baking soda is a versatile cleaning agent that can effectively remove tarnish. This is how to utilise a paste made with baking soda:

  • To make a thick paste, use one part water and three parts baking soda.
  • Apply the paste to your silver jewellery using a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Gently rub the paste onto the jewellery, paying attention to tarnished areas.
  • Rinse the jewellery with water and pat it dry with a clean cloth.

This method is safe and gentle on your silver jewellery, making it a popular choice for those who prefer natural cleaning solutions.

3. Commercial Silver Cleaners

Commercial silver cleaners are widely available and come in various forms, such as creams, gels, and dips. These products often contain chemical compounds designed to dissolve tarnish and restore shine. When using a commercial silver cleaner:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as different products may have specific application and removal procedures.
  • You must apply the cleaner, allow it to sit for a specified time, and then rinse and dry your jewellery thoroughly.

These cleaners can be highly effective, but be careful when using them, especially on jewellery with gemstones, as some products may be abrasive or harmful to specific stones. Always read the labels and take appropriate precautions.

4. Aluminium Foil and Baking Soda Method

This unconventional method involves a chemical reaction between aluminium, baking soda, and water to remove tarnish from your silver jewellery. Here’s how to do it:

  • Line a glass or plastic container with aluminium foil, ensuring the shiny side faces up.
  • Arrange your tarnished silver jewellery on aluminium foil.
  • Sprinkle baking soda over the jewellery, ensuring each piece comes into contact with the foil.
  • Boil water and carefully pour it over the jewellery. You’ll notice fizzing as the tarnish is being removed.
  • After a few minutes, carefully remove the jewellery and rinse it with water. Wipe it completely dry with a soft towel.

This method is particularly effective for heavily tarnished items and can make your jewellery shine like new. However, it’s not recommended for jewellery with gemstones or pearls, as the heat and chemicals involved may damage them.

5. Professional Ultrasonic Cleaning

If you have a substantial collection of silver jewellery and want a thorough and efficient cleaning, consider taking your pieces to a professional jeweller who offers ultrasonic cleaning services. Ultrasonic cleaners use high-frequency sound waves and a cleaning solution to remove tarnish and dirt from jewellery. This method is safe and effective for most types of silver jewellery, including pieces with gemstones.

Caring for Silver Jewelry

In addition to periodic polishing, taking good care of your silver jewellery can help prolong its lustre and beauty. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Store Your Jewellery Properly: Store your silver jewellery in a cool, dry place to prevent scratching and tarnishing. Use anti-tarnish pouches or cloths to help protect your pieces.
  • Wear It Often: Surprisingly, wearing silver jewellery regularly can help prevent tarnish. The natural oils from your skin can create a protective barrier.
  • Avoid Exposure: Keep your silver jewellery away from harsh chemicals, such as chlorine, perfumes, and household cleaners, as they can accelerate tarnishing.
  • Remove Jewellery Before Activities: Take off your silver jewellery before engaging in activities like swimming, exercising, or cleaning, as they can expose your pieces to chemicals and abrasion.
  • Regular Inspection: Inspect your jewellery for loose stones, damaged clasps, or other issues. Prompt repairs can prevent more significant problems down the road.


Polishing silver jewellery is a simple yet essential part of maintaining beauty and elegance. Whether you prefer a classic silver polishing cloth, a homemade baking soda paste, or a commercial cleaner, there are various methods to choose from. Select the one that best suits your needs and the condition of your jewellery.

At Jewel Studio, we understand the significance of silver jewellery in your life. Proper care and maintenance allow your silver pieces to remain dazzling heirlooms for generations. So, give your silver jewellery the attention it deserves, and let its timeless beauty shine through.

Remember, silver jewellery is not just an accessory; it’s an expression of your style and personality. By keeping it polished and well-cared for, you can continue enjoying its shining charm for years. Hug the art of polishing silver jewellery, and let your treasures shine like stars in the night sky.