We compared a couple of different methods of removing tarnish from sterling silver, to show you which we like, and why.
The simplest solution we’ve found is the little yellow polish cloths we offer in our store. The cloths are treated to remove tarnish, and are a great little option to keep in your jewelry box. A bit of pressure and the tarnish comes off fairly easily. You can find the polish cloths here:
To show you how well the cloth works, we used it on a pair of badly tarnished earrings. Before:
We used the yellow polish cloth to polish one of the large links:
And after a bit of polishing. A bit more time spent would have removed more of the tarnish.
The other option is a sterling silver dip like the one we show in the video. That dip is available at Walmart and other big box stores. It is very fast-acting, but you must be careful with it as it can remove the darkening of the letters on your jewelry as well. Yes, it’s great to get tarnish out of the crevices where you can’t reach with a jewelry cloth, but you also want to leave the darkening inside the letters instead of removing it. This is faster and less effort than using a cloth, though, and it’s the best method we’ve found so far to brighten a tarnished chain.
We dipped a badly tarnished layered necklace in the video below. The sterling silver layer was pretty black. This picture shows how the necklace looked right after it was made, compared to how badly it tarnished over time.
Here’s how the necklace looked after a quick dip into silver cleaner. A bit more time in the silver dip, some gentle scrubbing, and a polish cloth would finish this necklace up nicely.
Basically it all depends on what item the tarnish is on, and what is easiest for you. We like both methods for different projects, and we use both regularly in our shop.
The best weapon against tarnish is actually to keep your jewelry stored in an airtight bag when you’re not using it. I stored a lot of my jewelry hanging on the wall next to my bathroom door. You can see the results of that by looking at the earrings above. Now I store my necklaces in small zip bags in my jewelry box, one necklace per bag. It works much better.