Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cleaning Silver.... the easy way!

Don't you hate it when you're out shopping and you find something that is super cute made from silver, but it's so badly tarnished that you end up putting it back down and walking away?  I do.

I came across this adorable cat ring holder not long ago in a stinky, grody antique store.  It was dirty and tarnished BUT... only $1.50!!  SOLD!  So, I brought her home and put her on my window sill to hold my wedding rings.  (My skin and rings have a love/hate relationship so they are taken off as soon as I get home.)  She has been loyally keeping my beloved rings safe from the garbage disposal and trash can for a while now.  I was beginning to feel guilty and figured it was time to break down and give her a bath.

Here is how I did it.  It was super easy, took no time at all and it was cheap.  Awesome!

Here she is...... tarnished and dirty.  I love the way vintage items look aged so I didn't want her to be polished and shiny...... just a littler cleaner and more lively.  

Here is all you need:  

A bowl or pan.... big enough for the item you want to clean
Salt..... I used good old Kosher salt
Baking Soda.... robbed it from my freezer
A piece of aluminum foil.... I folded mine up to fit my bowl
The item or items you wish to clean
Hot water

I added about 3 Tbs. baking soda

Then added about 3 Tbs. salt

I poured 1 1/2 cups of hot tap water into the bowl.  I gave it a quick stir to get things dissolved before adding the ring holder.

Here she is taking a soak.  I have to say that it began to look cleaner almost immediately.  There was a slight sulfur odor that came from it but nothing too crazy so try not to worry.  I turned the holder over to allow the mixture to cover it completely and let it soak for about an hour.  After I took it out.... I rinsed it under cold running water and wiped over it with a wash cloth.  I also used an old toothbrush for the tight spots and crevices but certainly didn't break a sweat doing so.

And here she is.... isn't she sweet?  I was worried that the glass for her eyes would get cloudy or change in some way, but it didn't.  Yay!  When combined, the aluminum foil, baking soda, water and salt start a chemical reaction which probably explains the slight sulfur odor and is the reason for the cleaning.  I've heard of others using an aluminum pan rather than the foil which still causes the reaction.... so you have a choice as to which you prefer.

It was such a simple process and took me no time at all.  I have no idea why I didn't do it sooner.  Now, I'll be sure to grab up other great little silver finds and you should too!

Which reminds me..... I have some spoon rings that could use a good soak!

I'd love to hear about your experience using this technique!  And., I'd love to see what you're cleaning even more.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link so we can see!!  
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