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Cleaning jewellery the eco-friendly way

Updated: Mar 22

I like to wear silver jewellery, when it is all shiny and sparkling; I don’t like it when it becomes grubby and tarnished. In the past, I have resorted to buying chemical filled silver cleaners, to help restore the shine, and when that hasn’t worked, I’ve bought replacement jewellery. As time went on I realised how unsustainable this process was, both for the planet and for my bank balance.


Now I have imposed a moratorium on jewellery purchases and searched for an eco-friendly cleaning solution. Having found it, it’s too good not to share.

Collection of cleaned silver jewellery

What you need:

A bowl, suitable for boiling water

Aluminium foil

Bicarbonate of soda

Boiling water

Soft cloth


Method:

  1. Scrunch up a piece of foil into a ball, and put it in the bowl.

  2. Put your jewellery* in the bowl, then add a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda.

  3. Pour in boiling water to cover the jewellery, and leave it for about an hour, for the magic to happen. (Now, it is important to remember at this point, that you are actually very busy cleaning jewellery and should not be disturbed – so put the kettle on, put your feet up and relax!)

  4. Once you are fully relaxed (after about an hour), remove the jewellery from the bowl and give it a quick wipe over with a damp cloth, to remove any bicarbonate residue. If you find that you have any stubborn spots that were not removed during your busy cleaning process, give them a gentle scrub with the scrunched-up foil, then wipe over with the damp cloth.

  5. You should now have shiny, sparkling jewellery, with no harsh chemicals used.


* Important: This method is suitable for silver jewellery. If your jewellery also contains gemstones or other types of inlay you need to take care and make sure that you know what they are made of - before you go submerging them in boiling water! While this method should be safe for most hard gemstones, it is not suitable for jewellery containing soft or porous stones such as lapis lazuli, opal or emerald, or for jewellery containing organic material such as pearls, mother of pearl, coral or amber. If you are in any doubt, check with an expert first.





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