Silver utensils, figurines, rings or other jewellery are prone to scratches. Silver is a soft metal that does not stand up well to abuse or rough handling. Using, wearing or cleaning the silver causes scratches. Avoid attempting to remove scratches from silver coins as you may devalue them. Cleaning tarnish from silver with an abrasive silver polish can also cause scratches. Deep scratches on silver require professional polishing and restoration, while minor surface scratching is an at-home repair.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Dish soap
- Cotton gloves
- Jeweller's rouge polishing cloth
- Jeweller's rouge polishing cream
- Cotton cloth
- Aluminium foil
- Baking soda
Wash the silver item with a mild dish soap and rinse thoroughly to remove dirt and grime from the recesses of the scratches. Dry the silver item with a soft cotton cloth.
Put on a pair of soft cotton gloves to prevent oils on the skin from coming into contact with the silver surface.
Rub a jeweller's rouge polishing cloth or a soft cotton cloth dipped in jeweller's polishing cream across the scratches lightly to dull the edges of the scratch and make them less significant. Jeweller's rouge polishing cloths come saturated with minimally abrasive jeweller's rouge polishing cream or compound.
Wipe the jeweller's rouge polishing cloth in a circular motion over the scratches and in the same direction as the scratches to blend them with the surrounding silver.
Rinse the silver under plain water and buff dry with a cotton cloth.
Wash the silver item with a mild dish soap to remove dirt and grime. Do not use this method if the silver piece has gems.
Lay a piece of aluminium foil over the bottom and up the sides of a pot.
Place the silver item on top of the aluminium foil. Pour water over the silver until water covers the silver piece entirely. Add 1 tbsp of baking soda per cup of water.
Place the pot on the stove over a low heat. Let the water come to a slight boil and turn the heat off. Let the silver remain in the water for one hour.
Remove the silver item from the water and rinse well. Dry with a cotton cloth. Apply a light coat of silver polish. Buff the surface with a cotton cloth.
Tips and warnings
- Keep silver clean to prevent dust and dirt from abrading the surface and causing scratches.
- Either method may only minimise the scratches rather than remove them completely.
- Do not use scouring powders or toothpaste on silver as these products cause scratches.
- Only use cotton cloths to remove scratches; other materials will create scratches.
- Do not rub jeweller's rouge over gems; the abrasives may leave scratches in gems.
- Do not attempt to remove scratches from silver coins as you may devalue them.
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