DIY Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewellery at Home

imprint of 925 sterling silver on ring

Cleaning sterling silver jewellery should not cost a lot of money and can easily be done with common items you would find around the house.

The easiest method is to use a lint-free or microfiber cloth to clean your sterling silver jewellery. These cloths can restore shine by gently buffing away the tarnish. Cleaning your jewellery regularly can keep it looking new for as long as possible.



The following methods are not recommended for silver-plated jewellery as it can strip away the plating. Please use a specialised silver cleaning cloth to clean silver-plated jewellery.

Here are a few other DIY methods outlines below:


Using dish soap:

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution by mix a few drops of mild dish soap in a bowl of warm water.
  2. Soak the jewellery by placing the silver jewellery in the bowl and let it soak for a few minutes.
  3. Gently scrub the jewellery with a soft-bristled brush, such as a soft toothbrush or a jewellery brush. Be sure to scrub the crevices and hard-to-reach areas.
  4. Rinse the jewellery with clean water to remove all the soap and dirt.
  5. Dry the jewellery thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth. Be gentle and avoid rubbing too hard, as this can scratch the silver.


Homemade electrochemical silver cleaner:

Using baking soda, aluminuim foil and salt is a popular and effective method for cleaning sterling silver jewellery. This method is a great at removing heavier set tarnish.

Gather the following ingredients which can easily be found in you cupboard:

  1. Salt
  2. Baking soda
  3. Aluminium foil
  4. Colourless and fragrance-free dish soap
To make your own homemade electrochemical silver cleaner, follow the steps outlined below:
  1. Cut a piece of aluminium foil which covers the bottom of a glass bowl (a ceramic bowl will also suffice).
  2. Pour hot water into the bowl, enough to fill two-thirds of the bowl, and add the following measurements:
    • 1 tablespoon of salt
    • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon of colourless and fragrance-free dish soap.
  3. Put the jewellery in the bowl (be careful not to burn yourself with the hot water) so that it is submerged completely.
  4. Leave for 10 minutes, at the 5 minute mark you can gently stir the jewellery, making sure not to damage the aluminium foil lined at the bottom.
  5. After 10 minutes, you can remove the jewellery and discard the solution and the foil. You may notice the solution has turned cloudy grey.
  6. Rinse your jewellery and pat completely dry.
  7. If the jewellery is heavily tarnished, you may need to repeat the process a few times to remove all the tarnish.


Common methods to avoid when cleaning sterling silver jewellery yourself:

Pure baking soda paste as this is too abrasive and can damage the item

Toothpaste. Like above, it can be too harsh on sterling silver

Using vinegar/ lemon juice as both are too acidic and can damage gemstones

Olive oil as the oil leaves a stickly film that may be hard to remove


    At the end of the day, if the tarnish is too deep set, always take your items to a jewellers to get it professionally cleaned. If yu want to know how to prevent tarnish in the first place, our article on 'Top 10 Tips to Keeping Sterling Silver Jewellery in its Best Condition' can offer you some assistance.


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