Jewellery Care

How to clean your jewellery

Over time, any sterling silver jewellery exposed to air will tarnish. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. It’s the other metals, primarily copper, that make sterling silver to tarnish. The copper reacts to moisture and traces of sulfur in the air, causing the sterling silver to tarnish. Silver tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution. Chemicals like body lotion, hairspray, perfume, deodorant, bleach, etc., can speed up the tarnishing process.


  • Line a medium sized bowl with aluminium foil, shiny side up.
  • Place your sterling silver pieces on top of the foil in the bowl.
  • Slowly pour boiling water over the pieces until they are covered.
  • Now add 2 tablespoons each of baking powder and salt. Stir the solution to allow the baking powder to dissolve – you don’t want any granules scratching the metal. (Be prepared for the smell of rotten eggs as the sulfide tarnish comes off the silver.)
  • In about 5 – 10 minutes you will see the tarnish has “magically” disappeared from the jewellery.
  • Using tongs remove the pieces from the bowl and rinse under running water and dry with a soft cloth.


  • Another great method for cleaning sterling silver jewellery is toothpaste.
  • Apply toothpaste (preferably plain white) to a very soft new wet toothbrush and gently rub the toothpaste into the silver.
  • Rinse under running water and dry with a soft cloth.

Voila !!! Your silver should be sparkling clean and as good as new.

Why does silver tarnish?