Friday, March 16, 2012

Easy Eco Silver Jewellery Polish Dip

EcoYogini does a happy dance to celebrate her magical eco silver polish discovery

I am like a crow. Seriously, I hoard shiny, sparkly baubles and have been fortunate enough to be gifted with them over the years (with a few investments myself).

Unfortunately, my earring and necklace collection is forever doomed to be consistently tarnishable. My repertoire of jewellery that I can wear had actually significantly decreased due to the ugliness of their status.

I didn't want to use disgusting, chemical filled silver polish- that stuff smells like chemical death for a reason. According to MedlinePlus jewellery cleaners can have corrosive alkali, ammonia, detergent and soap which can have a variety of sketchy health reactions.

Unfortunately toothpaste wasn't going to cut my cleaning needs, nor would a cleaning cloth. I have little loops, and tiny spaces that are impossible to polish with a cloth. I needed a dip... and therefore resigned to living with a pile of brownish silver jewellery.

Until... I googled how to 'eco' clean silver and discovered the easiest, cheapest and extremely environmentally friendly way to do a jewellery cleaning dip! I'll admit I was doubtful... until it worked!!! Cue Happy Dance. Seriously, this is the bestest, easiest and very eco-friendly silver jewellery dip!

What you need:
1. a ceramic bowl- sized to support your jewellery pile.
2. recycled aluminum tinfoil (we have 'If you care')
3. 2 tablespoons of salt
4. Boiling water
5. 4 minutes of humming jeopardy or a little happy dance.

 Enter exhibition A: dingy tarnished silver jewellery.

Post Eco-Dip: The light doesn't do it justice, it was sparkling!

Time span 5 minutes: and everything is just perfectly shiny!! It was like MAGIC. I will say, that I wondered at a little residue, so just to be sure I may have tasted my earrings to confirm that they were a bit salty (what? no judging!). A quick no-salt water rinse and they were fine.
It even cleaned away tarnish in the tiny little loops and inbetween spots on my Trudy Gallagher earrings and this pretty yoga pendant Andrew had bought me a few years ago.

How does it work? According to when salt and aluminum foil and water combine there's an ion exchange (chemical reaction) where the tarnish on the silver is transferred to the aluminum. Supposedly if there's enough tarnish you can see it on the foil, but we checked and no tarnish spots were noticed.

Never again to buy chemical silver jewellery polish and cleaner! Success!


De in D.C. said...

Ok, dummy question. Do you put everything in the bowl (jewelry included) and then pour the boiling water over it? Or do you put the foil and salt in the bowl, pour the water over to dissolve the salt, and then add the jewelry?

AP said...

Awesome!! My jewelry rack is very close to a window that's open year-round in NYC (I'm high up in my building and get everyone else's heat!) and my silver tarnishes so quickly.

Also wondering about the method as De asks earlier. Some of my jewelry is mixed material, like yours, with glass and jewels. Is it safe on non-metal? Any materials to avoid?

Eco Yogini said...

@De and AP: I put the foil and salt in the bowl, but my jewellery in, and then dumped boiling water over it. I used a fork to kinda help dissolve the salt.
that said- you could totally do what you mentioned- salt, foil, water- dissolve THEN enter jewellery. :)

Re: materials to avoid- none of my crystals were damaged- but I would assume that anything that was damaged by salt or water (such as opals) shouldn't go in there.

If you have something that is a more delicate gemstone (like opals) I'd check online re: care first. :)

DownDoggin in MN said...

I needed this so much! I've tried toothpaste good. Thanks for sharing your new find, I am trying it tonight!

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

I have a lot of jewelry in desperate need of this treatment. Thanks for sharing your experience!

mudnessa said...

I do this but with baking soda instead of salt. Works great too. I will have to try salt next time and see if one works better. Either way so easy and always have the ingredients in my kitchen.

Marnie said...

Eco Yogini sent me here. I love this idea. I'm going to try this recipe out tomorrow. Thank you :0)

Anonymous said...

I am so excited to try this! I have some silver in really bad shape, and I've never fixed it cuz I refuse to use those toxic polishes!


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