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How to Clean Tarnished Jewelry

4 min read

You wear it to work, on a date, while hanging out with your friends, or just on an ordinary day. It’s your favorite necklace, bracelet, or other piece of jewelry, and it always adds something extra to your outfit—until it starts looking a little off color. Over time, it’s natural for jewelry to become dull, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be worn ever again.If you’ve ever wondered how to clean tarnished jewelry, you’re in luck.

PURPOSE Jewelry is fashion jewelry and is made of brass or plated base metals. Therefore, as time goes on and you are continuously wearing the jewelry, you might experience a slight change in the color. You can restore your custom, handcrafted jewelry back to its former glory via a few easy methods.

 SHOP RINGS

WHAT CAUSESBRASS JEWELRY TO BECOME TARNISHED?

Tarnish occurs on brass jewelry when the surface of the piece combines with oxygen, body oils, makeup, sweat, and other outside substances, which darkens the surface of the metal. 

There are varying degrees of tarnish, making your pieces look slightly dull or completely blackened. Being out in the world means being bombarded with all kinds of particles and substances over time. Just as you would need to clean up after a long day, so does your jewelry!

 

WHAT CAUSES PLATED JEWELRY TO BECOME TARNISHED?


Tarnish on plated jewelry is most often caused when the thin layer of precious metal coating the surface starts to wear off. In this case, prevention is your best option! See ourjewelry care guide to learn more about how to care for plated jewelry to help the finish last as long as possible! You can also seek out a local jewelry who offers plated services to have the finish of your favorite pieces restored. 

 

TRANSFORMING YOUR TARNISHEDBRASS JEWELRY

Fortunately, there are a number of options for how to clean tarnished brass jewelry effectively. These cleaning hacks will turn your tarnished brass jewelry back to its bright and shiny self in no time.

CLEANING CLOTH

Perhaps the easiest way to get tarnished brass jewelry back to normal is to use a cleaning cloth. These little miracles need only to be rubbed gently over your brass  jewelry and other precious metals to restore them to their former beauty. You can find these cleaning cloths at your local jeweler’s supply store oronline, where they can be bought in bulk.

What’s more, a single cleaning from the cloth can last for months of frequent wear and use without your jewelry pieces turning dull again. Keep them around for simple touch ups or full on cleanings and be amazed at how well they work.

A DIP IN A SALT BATH

Boil two cups of water and place in a bowl. Add in a tablespoon of salt and wait for it to dissolve completely, then take a sheet of aluminum foil, shred a few pieces, and place them in the bowl. The combination of the aluminum and salt will react with the metal, removing the tarnish to reveal a gorgeously shiny surface.

WARM BUBBLE BATH

That’s right—a bubble bath can totally remove the tarnish from your jewelry. Using a mild dish soap of your preferred scent, combine soap and warm water in a bowl until the solution is foamy.

Next, place the jewelry into the bowl and allow it to soak for about thirty minutes. You can add multiple pieces to the solution if needed, but be careful not to overcrowd it. Once the time is up, remove pieces one by one and place in a second bowl of pure water to rinse. You can then gently scrub the pieces with a soft toothbrush until tarnish is removed and the piece is no longer soapy. Place the pieces on a clean cloth to air dry.

BAKING SODA AND LEMON

Create a paste from baking soda and a few drops of lemon, and use a soft toothbrush to scrub the tarnish off your brass jewelry. Be sure to avoid decorative elements like beads and pearls. Rinse clean with water, then pat dry with a soft cloth. The acid in the lemon and the abrasive nature of the baking soda should scrub that tarnish right off. 

KETCHUP

In a pinch, all-brass jewelry can be cleaned with ketchup! Next time you’re traveling and need to give that brass ring a re-shine, tear open a few ketchup packets and coat your jewelry. Let sit about 10 minutes, then rinse clean and pat dry.

 

Radiant Ring

To prevent further tarnishing and other damage, be sure to clean your jewelry regularly, andpractice proper care. This includes taking steps to prevent damage, such as removing jewelry when you wash your hands, storing jewelry in proper boxes to avoid prolonged air exposure, and removing jewelry during strenuous activities to avoid scratches, dents, and other issues.

As you can see, there are various ways to clean tarnished brass jewelry of all kinds, giving your favorite pieces a new lease on life!