How to Clean Silver Jewelry With Vinegar

Shine your silver before your next big event.
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Silver jewelry starts out clean and shiny, but as the pieces age, they can look dirty or even tarnished. If the shine has faded from your favorite silver necklace, ring or bracelet, you don't need a commercial cleaner to restore it. Common household ingredients that you may have on hand, such as vinegar, baking soda, salt and aluminum foil, can work to remove tarnish from silver naturally.

Dip a large cotton ball in white vinegar. Rub the silver jewelry with the cotton ball, using small circular motions, then wipe it dry with a towel.

Cover the bottom of a pot with aluminum foil. Lay the foil so the shiny side faces up. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the pot, then pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Add 1 cup of water, then bring the mixture to a boil on the stove. Remove the pot from the stove and soak your silver jewelry in the vinegar mixture for at least 15 minutes. If your silver is very tarnished, you may need to soak it a bit longer. Remove each piece with tongs and buff dry with a clean towel.

Fill a glass with 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of flour. Combine the ingredients to make a thick paste. Rub the paste on all surfaces of the silver item, then let it set for 15 minutes. Wash the paste off with lukewarm water, then dry the jewelry with a cloth.

Dampen a toothbrush with water, then dip it in baking soda. Scrub the jewelry with the toothbrush. Dip the toothbrush in vinegar and scrub the piece again. When the baking soda stops fizzing, rinse the jewelery off with warm water and dry it with a towel.

  • Do not store silver near rubber. Rubber corrodes and damages silver jewelery.
  • To keep your silver in top condition, wrap the pieces in acid-free tissue paper and store them in sealed plastic bags.

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.