All about cleaning and bleaching sterling silver
This question excites almost every owner of silver jewelry. After all, at the moment, there is nothing eternal in the world. Everything, sooner or later, changes and takes a different form and shape.
Jewelry isn't an exception. Over time, precious metals wear out, they form scratches, hard-to-reach places are filled with dirt. No one likes the look of "shabby" product. Therefore, it is not surprising that after prolonged wear you want to update the decoration.
Understanding that this is a very topical issue, today we are publishing an article on the topic of caring for silver jewelry.
How to clean silver?
Over time, silver jewelry is dirtied as a result of any activity: cleaning the apartments, washing dishes, working in the garden. We talked about this more than once, but we shall repeat again.
“Always remove jewelry if it can be exposed to mechanical or chemical factors”.
This recommendation will protect the product from possible damage and help maintain the original appearance.
We distinguish 2 types of cleaning:
1. Professional cleaning silver.
If you read an article about oxidation, then you probably heard about an ultrasonic cleaner. How the method works:
A) immerse the product in the sink.
B) when it is turned on, powerful ultrasonic vibrations are fed into the water, which washes away the dirt and remnants of polishing paste from the products.
B) pull out, wash under running water.
Before cleaning in an ultrasonic washing, we also consider which stone is fixed. After all, there are certain types of stones that are very sensitive to ultrasonic washing. For such cases, provided hot steam cleaning.
The professional method will give the best results not only for the reason that you can remove dirt from any place but also because of safety. We consider not only the effectiveness of the method but also the chance of damage.
2. Cleaning sterling silver at home.
Home methods depend on the desired goal. Sometimes rags are enough to clean the silver jewelry.
The easiest way is to use a soft brush with thin fibers that can sneak into hard to reach places. If you use a hard brush, then there is a chance to scratch the silver surface. The disadvantage of this method is that it is not always possible to completely clean the product from dust and dirt. For the best effect it is recommended to use liquid soap in small portions.
How to clean sterling silver with soda?
Since this method has a high chance of damaging silver, we will not describe this process. It is done only in order to protect you from possible risks. Even if you find detailed information (solution concentration, boiling time) on other sources, we still do not recommend using soda cleaning. It is better to entrust the matter to professionals.
Why does silver turn black?
Most perceived blackened silver as dirty. As a result, product owners begin to use the methods we have mentioned earlier. But they will not give the desired effect, as they are intended for dirty jewelry, and not blackened.
Blackening of silver — a reaction of the metal to sweat. The reason is the presence in the sweat of amino acids that contain sulfur. But if the decoration is covered with white rhodium, then blackening will not occur.
In our practice, there have been cases when a client purchased a silver product and it drastically (after 2-3 days) darkened. Most in such situations will think that they have acquired low-quality silver. But in reality, things are not so straightforward.
There are 3 possible options:
1. Excessive sweating.
2. Health problems. If silver turns black on contact with the body, then it signals its reaction to certain processes in the body.
3. Strong emotional experiences. The body's acidity also depends on the level of stress and depressive mood.
Why does silver turn yellow?
Quite a rare case, but still takes place. Usually, silver turns yellow as a result of interaction with detergents or during a certain type of activity, and there may also be a reaction to changes in the body.
Why do sterling silver rings turn my fingers green?
Some people think that low quality or fake sterling silver can turn your fingers green. Fortunately, this is a myth. The real reason behind the appearance of a green tint on your skin lies in a ring’s metallic composition. People that wear jewellery should always bear in mind that that the silver pieces one can buy in stores are not made of pure silver because pure silver generally takes a liquid form. As a result, jewellery made from silver must be alloyed, or blended, with another type of metal. Silver is often combined with copper, which produces a ring formed from an alloy with the following composition: 92.2% silver and 7.5% copper.
If your fingers turn green when you wear a certain ring, your skin is likely reacting to contact with copper. Everyone has a unique reaction to different metals, and this applies to copper as well. There are many reasons that people react differently to copper, including:
— the diverse array of chemicals in the skin;
— the composition and severity of a person’s sweat;
— the products and creams one uses on their hands and fingers;
How to bleach silver?
Many Internet sources write that there is only one ammonia to whiten silver. Some also warned that this is a rather dangerous method with which one should be extremely careful. After all, if you overdo the dosage, the search query will change to "How to restore silver?" In our practice, we never used the home-based methods of bleaching silver, but specifically for you decided to spend one interesting experiment in which we will examine the effectiveness and disadvantage of this method.