Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry Wire

So I moved and while my jewelry supplies were packed, much of the silver wire I use for wrapping took on a nasty tarnish... needless to say, I should have stored it better prior to moving, but such as life, I didn't.

An easy and chemical free way to clean silver wire is to use aluminum foil, baking soda, salt and hot water.
1.  Line a heat resistant pan or deep baking dish with aluminum foil, shiny side up.
2.  Boil a gallon or so of hot water and add a table spoon each of salt and baking soda.
3.  Pour the mixture into your foil lined pan and put your silver wire in, to soak.
4.  Make sure the silver wire is laying on or touching the aluminum foil for this to work.
5.  Remove the wire from the dish, run under tap water and give a light buff with paper towel.

While I'd like to say it took only seconds and that the wire came out 'perfectly clean'... truth is, depending on how tarnished your wire is, this might take up to 10 minutes of soaking time and for best results on some deep tarnish, it might take repeating the process after the toughest layers are removed.  Provided you have patience to do this, it works quite well and best of all, cost next to nothing and doesn't use a nasty chemical cleaner.

Here are some images for reference.  Enjoy and remember, you can also clean your silver jewelry this way, provided it doesn't contain any natural stones that might be damaged by the heat or treatment.  This is also great for tarnished findings that are hard to use paste cleaners on ;)



Deerwoman designs said...

Thanks for this info. I've been using just baking soda or baking soda and water. But I think this will be much quicker

Going to try it today. What about using it on gold fill?

IzzyGumbo said...

Thanks for reading Deerwoman, I've read that this also works for goldfill wires, but I've not tried it myself. Give it a shot with a small piece of GF wire and see if it has the same results as the silver and please let me know how you do! ;)
Have a great day and thanks for the comment.

deerwoman designs said...

It does fine. I also was daring and put in finished jewelry. The red bamboo showed a little red in the water but no noticeable difference in the jewelry coral after, but the sterling was bright and shiny. It also did not seem to affect freshwater pearls TG. I'm afraid to do turquoise though and wish I could.

I will certainly use this technique a lot in the future. quicker than leaving jewelry in baking powder.

IzzyGumbo said...

I'm so glad to hear you gave it a try and that it's working for you! Thanks for the comment deerwoman, have a wonderful creative day ;)