Monday, May 7, 2012

Cleaning Sterling Silver - Light a Candle Cause It's Gonna Get Stinky

I have been cleaning out my jewelry case as part of my Operation Simplicity and noticed that all my sterling silver pieces were getting tarnished.  Again, I had another repressed Pinterest memory pop up and tried it out.

This was so simple and quick and even though the pics don't show much detail on the jewelry pieces (I've got to get a better lens for close ups), I promise there was a big difference. 

I will forewarn you - this will smell TERRIBLE.  I mean Terrible Horrible.  Like the sulfury rotten egg smell at volcanos (I've been to a few).  It's because the silver is releasing the oxidation from it's "pores" - the stink means it's working.  Definitley light a candle and just leave the room for a few minutes.  It will work, I promise - you won't need to supervise. 

To get this going, bust out a Pyrex dish - I used a 9x13.  Then line the bottom with foil BUT make sure the foil is shiny side up (why? I have no clue).  Then place all your jewelry pieces on top of the foil like so:

I took a big Pyrex bowl and added in a half cup of baking soda and a half cup of kosher salt.  I popped it in the microwave until it boiled and then poured it into the 9x13 Pyrex container over the jewelry.  I probably let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Being a control freak, I sat and watched the entire time - don't do this.  Relax and run from the smell. 

After the tarnish "falls off" make sure to rinse all your pieces in water to help get the stink off them.  I did notice the first time I wore the necklaces after doing this that I could detect a rotten egg odor emitting from them.  But after the one wear I didn't notice it. 

After you rinse place them on a bath towel and make sure to get all the moisture off them (as moisture is what causes them to tarnish).  My jewelry looked tons better after I did this.  It's one of those things where you didn't realize how bad it actually was until you did something about it!


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