How to Clean a Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet

Written by elizabeth nickelaid
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A charm bracelet full of motifs tells you about its owner and her likes. But a sterling silver bracelet loses some of its charm when tarnish begins to set in. Jewellery is called sterling when it contains at least 92.5 per cent pure silver alloyed with a harder metal, usually copper. The softness of silver necessitates the combination, but it makes sterling silver more susceptible to air and light, which can result in tarnishing. With its many small parts, the easiest way to clean a sterling silver charm bracelet is to dip it into a homemade solution.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Large pot
  • Aluminium foil
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup dish liquid
  • Plastic spoon
  • Colander or strainer

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  1. 1

    Cover the inside of the pot with aluminium foil, lining the entire space.

  2. 2

    Pour in the water and add the baking soda, salt and dish soap.

  3. 3

    Mix the ingredients with the plastic spoon.

  4. 4

    Put your sterling silver charm bracelet, along with any other sterling silver jewellery you'd like to clean, on the aluminium foil at the bottom of the pot. Do not let the pieces touch.

  5. 5

    Heat the solution to a low boil and then remove it from the stove. Let it stand for about two or three minutes. The tarnish will be transferred to the aluminium foil.

  6. 6

    Pour out the solution into the sink, using a strainer or colander to catch your jewellery.

  7. 7

    Thoroughly rinse the jewellery with cold water. Do not leave on salt or other residue.

  8. 8

    Place the jewellery on a soft towel to air dry. Drying your sterling silver jewellery with paper towels or even tissue can scratch it.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your sterling silver tarnish-free longer by wrapping it in a polishing cloth or other very soft cloth and placing it in a plastic baggie, removing as much air from the bag as possible. Don't allow pieces to rub together during storage.
  • Do not use this solution on sterling silver pieces that also include turquoise, pearls or mother-of-pearl.
  • This method is not intended for silver-plated jewellery.

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