Saturday, 2 February 2013

Eco Jewelry Cleaning

After my second daughter was born I asked for a charm necklace with my girls' names and birth dates inscribed on them. The internet is chalk full of companies that can create beautiful personalized jewelry for women to commemorate motherhood and I succumbed. I love my necklace that now has three charms on it. I like to tell my girls that when I wear it I am keeping them close to my heart. But because I wear it everyday it can get scruffy looking.

I am very partial to silver jewelry and most of my earrings and necklaces are made of it, but a drawback is that it can tarnish easily when exposed to the humidity in the air because of oxidation.

I tend to forget to clean my jewelry until I am in a hurry getting ready to go out and I realize that my earrings are tarnished, so I put it away to clean at another time. Then I forget again until the next time. Lather rinse repeat.

Silver dips and pastes worked for me because they were quick and easy to do, but I knew that they contained toxic chemicals that smelled horrible. I have been working on detoxifying my home cleaning products and personal care products so I knew that I had to find a better way to make my silver shine again. I don't want to put something on my skin that has been cleaned in harsh chemicals.

It isn't hard to find non-toxic silver cleaner recipes on the internet but this is the one that I like to use.

Supplies for eco jewelry cleaning:

liquid dish soap (some recipes skip the soap)
aluminum foil (I save a piece of recycled foil for this purpose)


  1. Place aluminum foil in a bowl
  2. Pour a tablespoon of salt on top of the aluminum
  3. Pour a tablespoon of liquid dish soap on the salt
  4. Add 1/2 cup - 1 cup of water 
  5. Place silver jewelry on the aluminium and mixture. 
  6. Swish the jewelry around then leave for a few minutes.
  7. Remove the jewelry from the bowl, rinse in water and dry off.
  8. If my silver is particularly dirty I like to give it a quick shine it with a cloth.

That's it! No harsh chemicals, no gloves required.


  1. I have so much silver that needs to be cleaned! I was stalling until I found a way to do it, like you, without the toxic stuff but I just hadn't gotten around to searching for one yet. Thanks!!

    1. I have also seen people add baking soda to the mix as well, to increase the chemical reactions that lift the tarnish off the silver. You may want to try that if yours is particularly bad.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I am way selected when it comes to jewelry cleaning. Even after reading your experience still I am not so sure what chemical should I use, that cleans but also preserves originality.

    1. My personal feeling / choice is that no chemical is necessary. I haven't found any problem with preserving original design of the jewelry. The problem with using chemicals is what to do with it after because it has to go somewhere. That and having harsh chemicals against the skin, which in my opinion is not healthy.

  3. Congrats on finding a way to solve the problem, my mom uses a necklace of this type and it may come in handy to know it. Nowadays handmade jewelry is very popular of its quality and it´s very easy to clean.