The United States is home to several silver polishing products. These products remove the oxidation or black build-up on jewellery as well as silverplate and sterling silver used in the American home. The composition of the products is diverse, and components are a trade secret by the producers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Household Products Database contains the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) provided by the manufacturer. The MSDS lists hazardous materials and reports non-hazardous items. You can discover the active ingredients in silver cream by the names of the products. The most common inactive ingredient is water.
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Silver Cream or Liquid Products Containing No Hazardous Materials
Malco Products of Barberton, Ohio makes Oneida Rogers Silver Polish. Although this product may cause skin or eye irritation, the MSDS listing shows no hazardous ingredients and no special disposal requirements. Twinkle Silver Polish by Malco Products may cause minor irritation, but is comprised of all non-hazardous ingredients according to the MSDS.
Loon Gray Brothers of Bend, Oregon makes Chandni Silver Polish out of non-hazardous ingredients. Howard Pine Ola Silver Polish comes from Pasa Robles, California and also contains non-hazardous ingredients.
Silver Polishing Products Containing Ammonia
Goddard's Long Shine Silver Polish in liquid form contains 2 per cent ammonia and 2-Butoxyethanol, both products used in many household and automotive cleaners. There is also less than .3 per cent DMDM hydantoin--a product used in hand lotions. This product comes from Northern Labs of Wisconsin.
Sopus Products division of Shell Oil Company produces Blue Magic Cream Metal Polish. It contains ammonia, and is often used as an automobile polish for all metals.
Silver Cleaning Products With Thiourea
Goddard's Silver Dip contains sulphuric acid and thiourea. Thiourea has caused cancer in rats. Hagerty Silver Jewel Clean, manufactured in South Bend, Indiana, contains thiourea. This Hagerty product also contains phosphated polyol, a chemical that shows no other use in the MSDS listings. Hagerty 100 All Metal Polish does not contain thiourea, according to the MSDS listing.
The Society of American Silversmiths reports that chemical dips are made of acids and a complexing agent. Thiourea is the complexing agent in these products. See study on thiourea by American Chemical Society in Resources.
Metals, Stones and Clays in Silver Cream
Aluminum oxide is the main ingredient in Old Silver Polish made by Barr & Co. of Memphis, Tennessee. This is a paste and is harmful if swallowed.
Tarn-X Silver Glaze contains kaolin clay and caprylic acid or Disodium capryloamphodipropionate. Polysorbate 80 and trisodium citrate along with D-gluconic acid complete the component list. Tarn-X is made by Jelmar of Skokie, Illinois. Hagerty Silversmiths Polish Liquid also contains clays.
Wrights Anti-Tarnish Silver Polish from Weiman Products of Gurnee, Illinois contains quartz. Weiman also makes Wrights Silver Cream containing quartz.
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- Society of American Silversmiths: Silver Care: Chemical Dips
- U.S.Dept. of Health & Human Services: Household Products Database: Silver
- U. S. Dept of Health & Human Services: Household Products Database: Hagerty 100 All Metal Polish
- Health and Environmental Resource Center
- American Chemical Society: Analytical Chemistry: Thiourea