How to Polish Sterling Silver

When buying jewels, our dream is to make sure they maintain their shine and color for as long as they can.

This was not always the case when you bought sterling silver that will tarnish and get dull, especially if you don’t clean it often.

Sterling Silver get dull

In the presence of oxygen and sulfur, sterling silver reacts to create a layer over the jewels, which is what we call tarnish. The best way to sustain the sterling silver is to polish it every day to look clean and shiny.

How to polish it every day

You can polish the jewels the same way. But we will break them down for you to understand.

How to polish the necklace or bracelet?

Simply take a soft piece of cloth and start by polishing the gemstone or pendant. Wipe it front and back, but be gentle to make sure you never damage it.

Polish Sterling Silver before and after

Next, go on to polish the sterling silver chain. Be very gentle to avoid scratching it and causing breakages too. Notice that one of the features is that sterling silver is very soft, so you must handle it with care.

When polishing the rings

It’s easy to polish the rings cuffs and bracelets. Use a firm hand to clean the inside and then the outer part of the ring or bracelets.

Sterling Silver ring polishing before and after

The best way is to polish the ring using the inside parts of the clothes to be as gentle as you take all the time. Then finish off by wiping it using the outer side of the clothing to give it the final polish and shine.

In this case, you can choose to use the chemically treated clothes that are meant to clean the sterling silver. These are only for sterling silver, not any other type of silver, gold, or jewel.

The different methods to use

Using the mild detergent

You can decide to clean it first.

So fill a bowl with warm water.

Check your dish soap, and if it’s a mild choice, you can use it for this process. So go on to add a few drops of the mild soap to the warm water. Go on to mix the detergent and the water to make it lather.

Next, set the jewel in the bowl and use a soft toothbrush to remove the stains that may already be stuck. This should take about 5 – 10 minutes and then rinse it in warm water. Through the process, maintain gentleness.

Take the microfiber towel to help in the drying of the silver jewel. Take time to wipe even the crevices, thus removing all the tarnish and watermarks.

Now you can polish it. Take a small microfiber towel or even a sterling silver cloth. Gently rub the outer parts as you take all the time you need to regain its shine.

In this case, it’s necessary to know the material you are choosing to use. If you choose materials with harsh fibers, then you risk scratching your precious jewels.

You can use the store-bought silver polish.

Of course, we have a special silver polish that is meant for your sterling silver jewels. You can have the liquid styles of polish or even cream polish. So for the liquid polish, you will only need to spray it on the sterling silver. It’s much easier to use.

For the spray, you can make it work by removing the regular tarnish, not the very stuck ones. If you, however, have heavier tarnish, you can then use the cream tarnish.

Place your microfiber towel on the table, then place the jewel on the microfiber. Next, spray the silver ornament making sure you get all the parts of the silver surfaces saturated with water. Give it a minute to set in before you start.

Now start to wipe the different parts tans sides of the jewel gently. Make sure though that you can reach even the crevices to maintain a uniform shine.

Be gentle as you focus more on the parts that are already tarnished.

Rinse it

When you are finally done with this process, you can rinse the jewel under lukewarm water. You can then dry it with another microfiber clothing to make sure all the parts contain no watermarks or chemicals.

Check it to make sure you dry it thoroughly. You don’t want to develop watermarks or give the right environment for more tarnishing.

You can also use aluminum foil, baking soda, and then vinegar.

Although it does work, you will need to be careful with the process to make sure it doesn’t damage your silver.

One thing to remember is that baking soda can be very damaging to your silver since it’s abrasive. But if you like to use the combination above, then I believe you know how it works.

Nonetheless, if your jewel has no pearls, turquoise, or shells, it’s okay to use the cleaning method. This will then make it work all the way. Remember, it’s ideal if you are going to clean more than one silver or when you use it for many ornaments.

Set a jar of water in your pan to boil and make sure the water covers all the jewels.

Set another bowl. And fit the foil in the bowl, making sure you cover all the parts of the bowl. Just have the aluminum’s shiny side up and make sure it covers all the parts of the container.

Take a tablespoon of baking soda and add it to the bowl with the aluminum foil. Add a tablespoon of salt and then go on to add a half cup of vinegar. Mix everything, and you should start to notice the fizz.

Gently stir everything making sure you no longer have chunks of baking soda.

Next, add your boiling water to the mixture then gently stir it to make sure all the ingredients here are nicely mixed.

Finally, drop all the jewels you have. Do so gently as you don’t want to cause tangles or damage. Give them time to get rid of the tarnish completely. Flip the silver on both sides, but be as gentle as you can.

Now use the tongs to remove the jewels after about 5 – 10 minutes. You don’t want to burn your hands, so don’t touch the ornaments. Next, give it a rinse with warm water under the running water or in another bowl.

Take your microfiber towel to dry the jewel sides making sure you get rid of watermarks altogether. Then you can use another microfiber to give it a final polishing and shining.

Clean the jewel with the vinegar

You can also clean the jewel using vinegar; this one will take a little longer than the other gems.

So then place the jewel in the jar.

Pour the white vinegar into the jar. Make sure the jewel is fully immersed.

Let it sit in the jar for about 2-3 hours. This will loosen the tarnish go on, and rinse it clean.

Dry it out, making sure no watermarks are remaining.

Finally, with the microfiber towel, you can polish the jewel, thus delivering a convincing shine.

Check the video below to see how to clean the silver jewelry.

Preventive measure

Of course, you want to have the jewel looking as shiny as you still have it looking. Take the measures below, though, to be on the safe side.

Store it right

Sterling silver is very delicate; therefore, you always want to be careful in your storage. Make sure you keep it in a zip lock bag to keep the air out. Of course, you don’t want it to start reacting with the air outside.

When you remove it, polish it gently with your sterling silver cloth and then store it in a zip lock bag. Keep as much air out as you can. Whatever you are polishing it though keep in mind that you can scratch it so you should use a soft cloth.

Keep the bag in a cool and dry place. Sterling silver can’t stand a humid environment, and thus, you should keep it in a safe environment.

Wear it

Although exposure to some weather conditions may cause tarnishing, not wearing it is not suitable for it. Your body oil will often clean the jewel in the process.

Dont overexpose it

If you know you are going to partake in a harsh activity, then you can place your jewel aside. If you still have it on when you are using chemicals, it will get damaged. So remove it and keep it, especially when you are in a humid environment. Also, don’t wear them when you are cleaning.


Although you can use any soft cloth to polish the jewels, it’s better to use a silver cloth. They are designed to handle silver, and as such, they will never damage the silver. Avoid using paper towels or tissues as those are so rough and could damage the silver.

Follow the silver grain when you are polishing it. This will make it easy to shine and attain a mirror-like look.

With that said, you are ready to polish your jewels now. Get the silver cloth and follow the guidelines listed above. If you have any questions, then y9ou can share them in the comment section.

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