You can create your own jewellery-cleaning solution as an alternative to commercial products that contain potentially hazardous chemicals. Keep in mind there are several recipes available for different types of jewellery--so choose the recipe that will yield the best results for the items you intend to clean. The recipe that follows is suited to silver jewellery, because it reverses the oxidation that causes silver to tarnish. Restore the shine to your silver quickly and inexpensively with this homemade jewellery-cleaning solution.
Heat 1 cup of water in a casserole dish in a microwave for 2 minutes. You can boil the water on a hob, but it isn’t necessary.
Line the casserole dish with a piece of aluminium foil. The foil does not have to entirely cover the bottom of the dish, but it should be large enough to accommodate your jewellery.
Add 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of dishwashing liquid and 1 tsp of salt to the dish. When mixed together, the ingredients will cause effervescence.
Place your silver jewellery into the homemade cleaning solution and allow it to set for 5 to 7 minutes. Make sure the silver is in contact with the aluminium.
Remove the jewellery from the cleaning mixture and rinse with cool water. Place the jewellery in a strainer before you rinse it, so you don't lose any small items.
Buff the silver jewellery with a rouge cloth. Use a cloth designed to remove the remaining silver sulphide (the black coating that tarnishes silver).
Discard the cleaner after each use. The ingredients break down over time, and will not be as effective as a fresh mixture made for each new cleaning.
Always test the effectiveness of any homemade jewellery-cleaning solution on unimportant items first. Keep in mind that metals react differently, and there is always a chance the water will loosen the glue on rhinestone jewellery.
There is a variation of this homemade jewellery-cleaning solution on the Internet that does not call for salt or dishwashing liquid. This recipe is not nearly as effective, and in some instances may damage your jewellery. Another widely suggested tip involves the application of a toothpaste mixture with a toothbrush. Be advised that toothpaste and the toothbrush bristles of the brush may scratch the surface of softer metals. The baking soda is also an abrasive, and may cause minor scratches.