05 August 2008


The other day, I got the greatest tip in my issue of Beading Daily. I couldn't wait to try it and now I have to share. It is a totally non toxic way of removing tarnish from silver. And here to demonstrate it is my pair of very tarnished silver ball of yarn earrings. Behold.

Ick. Here's how to get rid of it.

You'll need:
baking soda
a plastic or glass dish
hot, almost boiling, water
a plastic utensil
aluminum foil
the tarnished item

1. Spread a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of the dish.

2. Pour hot water into the dish: enough to cover the tarnished item.

3. Add two tablespoons of baking soda and stir with plastic utensil to dissolve.

4. Drop in tarnished item.

5. Watch the bubbles;

smell the sulphury smell.

It's working!

6. Remove from water and rinse. Dry.

And it's tarnish free! Woooooo!!!

The process took about 7 minutes from start to finish and was totally non toxic and environmentally friendly! How cool is that?

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Blogger punkin said...

That is very cool. Thanks for sharing.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

That is very cool!

12:06 AM  
Blogger Carole Knits said...

Great tip!

4:24 AM  
Blogger lv2knit said...

This is fantastic! I have several things like your earrings that are a sorry mess to clean! Thanks for the very practical tip!

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Miriam said...

I've been doing this for years. Isn't it lovely? So easy and if you put it off until the last minute, your silver can be un-tarnishing while you're doing your makeup or hair or getting dressed. And it doesn't come out smelling like polish.

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderfully simple! Thanks. Do you think it would be ok to include pieces with semi-precious beads (agate, labradorite, tourmaline, things like that)?

6:05 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Cool! Personally, I swear by ketchup. Try it! Slather on the ketchup, let sit, then rinse (UNLESS the jewelry in question has pearls--PLEASE don't mix vinegar and pearls). Also shiny!

6:18 AM  
Blogger cyndy said...

I love kitchen science!

Great tip, Romi, thanks!

6:22 AM  
Blogger Scoutj said...

How cool!!!

(did you see I made THE announcement!)

6:25 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

How cool is that?? Thanks for sharing - I love to find out stuff like this!

Those yarn ball earrings are lovely...

7:07 AM  
Blogger sophanne said...

That is so on today's to do list.

Thanks for the comment on my WIP's... a comment from Romi made me feel like a celebrity.

All the lace practice is just so I can work my way up to Muir!

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That technique never worked for me! I wish it would, because it is perfect to get into those little nooks and crannies. Maybe because we have well water ...

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luv it !!
thank you!

9:00 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Thank you for the tip!

9:23 AM  
Blogger honeypumpkin said...

I swear I was just thinking the other day that I needed some silver cleaner for my silver jewelry... Thanks! Now I just need to talk myself into a pair of your yarn ball earrings ... just so I can really follow the tutorial... ;)

9:23 AM  
Blogger Lía said...

I clean all my silver jewelry with ashes and it works pretty fine. I'll try your method though ;)

10:55 AM  
Blogger Tiny Tyrant said...

And it works really well on grandma's silver set that you never ever want to hand polish because you just don't have that kind of time. :-)

11:25 AM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

Really! Wow! Thank you!

12:51 PM  
Blogger Camy Tang said...

OMG That is so cool! Thanks!

1:29 PM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

Oh, the joys of chemical reactions! I've never seen that one before--very cool!

4:02 PM  
Blogger RobynR said...

Rosemary, I agree it's a great way to clean silver and I use it on a semi-regular basis myself. The thing is, it's not totally safe and non-toxic. That sulphurous odour can be harmful and you should always clean your silver in a well ventilated area.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Monika said...

That IS a very cool tip. Just the other day, I was looking at all my silvery jewelry, being almost black. Is this the tarnish you are talking about? I have to give it a try soon. Thanks.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous sil said...

I just tried it on some necklaces and darn they look great! Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

I've a similar tip for cleaning copper. I have a necklace with a penny in it that has very special meaning to me, so of course I like to have it shiny. I sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on it, add a drop of lemon juice (vinegar would probably work too, just more smelly!) and rub it in. The salt dissolves as it works so it's not too harsh on the metal.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Erika said...

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great tip! I usually use toothpaste, and an old toothbrush, for light tarnish.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous erysimum said...

Actually, any salt will work, so you can substitute regular old table salt for the baking soda and it will work just as well.

Also, to Trish, it probably is metals in the well water that are interfering with the reaction (grabbing the electrons from the aluminum before they reach the silver). Maybe buy bottled water and try it... cheaper than commercial polish!

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Meg said...

Wowzers! Thanks for posting this. I love smart people.

6:19 AM  
Blogger kim•ber•ly said...

Thanks for posting this. I dropped by your blog from Ravelry/Knitty (your napkin rings will be my mother's birthday gift this year) and viola! we can clean my daughter's favorite-yet-tarnished necklace!

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WoW! I have lots of tarnished silver jewelry; I'm going to try that out. Thanks for passing it along.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I just saw your shawl pin (the ram) in the new issue of Interweave Knits! :)

8:35 AM  
Blogger vanessa said...

way cool!

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is amazing, you've just rejuvenated my favourite necklace. THANK YOU!

8:49 AM  

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