If you have any jewelry made from silver, you know that the bright, shiny surface of silver gradually tarnishes and becomes less shiny over time. This happens because silver undergoes a chemical reaction with sulfur-containing substances in the air. You can reverse the tarnishing reaction, and make the silver shiny again.
Baking soda activated by boiling water in the presence of aluminum, will dislodge the tarnish by making it bind with the aluminum, leaving the sterling silver clean and shiny again. This is the simple, organic way to clean and polish your sterling silver jewelry.
For this procedure you will need:
~ one pan/bowl large enough to completely immerse the silver jewelry (or flatware) in and one to boil water in.
~ aluminum foil to line your pan/bowl(shiny side of the foil facing up)
~ boil just enough water to submerge all of the sterling silver pieces.
~ stove or hotplate to heat the water (no microwave)
~ baking soda
Line the bottom of the pan/bowl with a slightly crumpled piece of aluminum foil . Lay out your silver jewelry onto the foil evenly. Make sure the silver touches the aluminum foil.
Then pour the baking soda on top, enough to cover your jewelry. Heat the water until it boils and pour into your pan/bowl of silver jewelry/baking soda.
Pour enough boiling water to immerse the jewelry.
Bubbling should occur, giving off a slight odor (which is caused by the sulfuric gases released by the cleaning action).
Move the pieces around gentle with a wood or plastic utensil to ensure that all of the silver surfaces come in contact with the aluminum.
Almost immediately, the tarnish will begin to disappear. If the silver is only lightly tarnished, all of the tarnish will disappear within several minutes. If the silver is badly tarnished, you may need to reheat the baking soda and water mixture, and give the silver several treatments to remove all of the tarnish.
Remove and rinse completely and pat dry.
Another way to keep your silver pieces from tarnishing is to wear them often!