Care of Silver







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Care of Silver & Gold

Cleaning and care of silver

Whatever product you use to clean your silver it will inevitably remove a very slight layer. It is important to use the least abrasive material such as silver foam or liquid polish ensuring you purchase the long-term variety.

Silver is a very soft metal and scratches easily. Never use a metal polish intended for copper or brass, never use wire wool or an abrasive kitchen pad.

Your silver-cleaning box should be equipped with:-

  • soft clean cloths

  • cotton wool

  • one or two clean sponges

  • some cotton-buds

  • a couple of old, soft discarded toothbrushes

  • possibly a larger brush with very soft bristles (there are special silver-cleaning brushes on the market)

  • one or two impregnated cloths

  • a pair of impregnated gloves or mittens

  • silver liquid polish

  • silver dip.

Once your silver is clean, you can maintain it for quite awhile by dusting it with a soft cloth and washing it in warm soapy water. You will need to rinse it well and then dry the article immediately with a soft dry kitchen towel.

This is where the impregnated gloves come in very handy because if warm soapy water is no longer effective you can rub up the silver very effectively without getting your hands dirty. Ensure the gloves have a white or cream lining because some of them have red linings, giving you red hands! Never wash impregnated gloves. The dirtier they look, the better they clean. These gloves can be found in the haberdashery department of large department stores

If you have silver which is not in daily use it is better to put it away and keep it as air-tight as possible. You can wrap the silver in acid-free tissue or tarnish-proof felt and put it in a cupboard or drawer. Tarnish does not actually harm silver and although it looks ugly, it is not corrosive, far better to clean it only when you take it out to use it.

Silver dip is a wonderful aid to cleaning but must be used with caution, use cotton wool and dab the article then wash off with cold water, never hot water, this oxidises, beware of finials etc.

To get tea stains off the inside of your tea pot, put 2 tbsp of Bicarbonate of Soda into teapot, and then add boiling water to top. Leave 1/2 hour and then rinse thoroughly.
Your teapot will then be stain-free!

Everyone has their own methods of cleaning silver so the above points are only suggestions and warnings. Do not be afraid of your silver. Often, it has survived for many hundreds of years. If you treat it gently, it will clean up beautifully.

Cleaning Medals
Tempting as it is at times the cleaning of medals is very much frowned on by numismatists. The reason for this is that cleaning will blunt the crispness of the medal and the greater the crispness, the greater the value of the medal. Cleaning would also interfere with the toning of a medal. Toning is also considered to be important. The only acceptable resort therefore, is to wash the medal in warm soapy water using a very soft brush.


Cleaning Gold

18ct gold and higher will not usually suffer from discolouration or tarnish and isn't harmed by contact with household chemicals. However, bleach and other cleaning products WILL damage lower carat gold’s as they aren't so pure (being alloys of metals) and are therefore much more prone to attack by corrosive chemicals.

White gold has a covering of rhodium plating to make the metal look whiter, so be careful, you will end up with a nickel coloured ring, if this happens contact us.


You can soak your jewellery in washing up liquid and use a soft toothbrush to remove dirt in angular areas and around the stones. Always be careful with Emeralds, Pearls & Opals. Some people prefer to use gin but I prefer to use the former method.