Before we discuss how to clean sterling silver without baking soda, let’s look into sterling silver and its chemistry.
Fine silver is fairly fragile and ductile, and it is easily scratched & broken, making it unsuitable for jewelry.
Sterling silver is a mixture of different metals to make it more resistant to deformation or destruction. Sterling silver is a type of metal alloy. This indicates that sterling silver is a mixture of metals rather than a single element, as pure silver is.
The most popular alloy combination used in jewelry is sterling silver. It must have a bare minimum of 92.5 percent pure silver, with the remaining 7.5 percent made up of any metal. Traditionally, this metal is copper. Hundreds of years of research have also shown that copper is the perfect partner for silver, without impacting its pretty color.
The addition of a small volume of copper to sterling has minimal impact on sterling silver’s worth. Rather, sterling silver’s value is determined by the amount of work used to create the piece, the talent of the craftsman, and the design’s complexity.
In addition, sterling silver jewelry is frequently rhodium encased to provide it a brilliant white appearance that is slightly more scratch resistant.
Sterling Silver History and Stampings or Hallmarks
Circa the 12th century, to be exact, craftspeople have been creating sterling silver jewelry and currency.
This period’s silver currencies were dubbed Easterlings, particularly in cattle industries. The designation was then changed to simply sterling, which is still used to indicate the best standard of silver.
Sterling silver, also known as “the alloy of the moon” due to its chalky white and greyish appearance, is usually stamped with a hallmark.
The hallmark shows the pure silver quantity and, in some cases, the completion date and place of origin. It can only be supported by a brand’s mark or a registered trademark, according to federal legislation.
Sterling silver standard markings that are appropriate include o.925, Sterling Silver, Sterling, and Ster.
Sterling Silver Applications
The incorporation of 7.5 percent copper strengthens and extends the life of sterling silver. This enables it to be used to render a variety of other items, such as silverware, coffee & tea sets, plates, jewelry, platters, and silver-plated products.
Pay attention to the “silver-plated products” mentioned above. When something is marketed as “silver-plated,” it usually indicates that the object is crafted of another metal and that a thinner coating of sterling silver is “plated” over it.
Also, sterling silver has a much longer range of applications than fine silver. Since sterling silver is more durable than fine silver, it will not be scratched or dented by normal wear and tear.
Tarnishing of Sterling Silver
Silver has the potential to tarnish. This means that the gases in the air interfere with the metal, causing discoloration, fading, and what seems to be a “dirty” crust on top of silver objects.
Sterling silver tarnishes more readily than pure silver. As noted earlier, silver will become tarnished when exposed to air. Sterling silver, on the other hand, tarnishes more frequently due to the alloy metals used inside sterling silver.
Copper tarnishes readily. When combined with another tarnishable metal, such as silver, the tarnishing process is accelerated and more rapidly occurs.
Why Choose Sterling Silver Over Pure Silver?
There are several advantages of using sterling silver over fine silver that may persuade you to do so.
The initial and most noticeable is the price. Fine silver has a greater purity level of silver, making it more costly than less refined sterling silver.
Sterling silver, on the other hand, looks just as fantastic as fine silver, which ensures you can buy at a more cost-effective price point.
It’s worth thinking about the durability aspect. Because of the additional metal alloys, sterling silver is much more durable than fine silver.
It’ll also make your item last and look as beautiful as possible for as long as possible.
Sterling silver is simpler to mold than fine silver, which is soft and ductile, so you’ll have more choices made of sterling silver vs silver.
What Is the Correct Way to Look After Sterling Silver Jewelry?
Before we get into how to clean sterling silver without baking soda let’s talk about a few useful precautions that can protect your precious sterling silver items.
If well cared for, the fine sterling silver jewelry should last forever…
First, keep it in a dark, dry location free from air and water.
Keep your sterling silver item in a fabric bag or a different compartment in your storage box to avoid scratches and other harm.
Minimize exposing sterling silver to household contaminants such as chlorine and ammonia, as well as bathing in water that is chlorinated, as both will corrode the metal.
How To Clean Sterling Silver Without Baking Soda
Special precautions should also be taken to avoid silver tarnish, due to the item naturally becoming dull as silver mixes with hydrogen sulfide or sulfur found in the air.
Let’s now discuss how to clean sterling silver without baking soda.
Using a cloth that is soft to the touch, impregnated with a cleaner and polish engineered as a tarnish remover to clean your sterling silver.
A useful recommendation is the Champion Polishing Cloth. It is the ultimate sterling silver polishing cloth that has built a faithful and solid reputation over the last 95 years.
The Champion Polishing Cloth is ready to use immediately right of the bag. No need to waste time scrounging around for DIY ingredients that can do more harm than good.
- To clean, polish, and wax items in good shape, make a ball out of the Champion Polishing Cloth and softly rub the material in a linear fashion, with the grain if possible.
- For best results, clean a limited section at a time, then polish it with a soft, clean, dried cloth.
- Move to a clean portion of the dry fabric and polish and shine the surface once more for a finer, lustrous appearance. A single 9′′ x 12′′ Champion Polishing Cloth can last for longer than a gallon of brass cleaner and polish. It won’t leave deposits in crevices or rub off lacquered or glazed metal surfaces during polishing.
- The best time to remove tarnish is when it initially occurs. Regularly wearing your sterling silver jewelry is a simple way to avoid tarnish from accumulating. Consistently cleaning your sterling silver pieces will keep them shiny and sparkly, and if necessary, getting another coat of rhodium will restore sterling silver’s original shine. When treated with Champion Polishing Cloth, the cloth’s protective chemicals and waxes enter the metal pores and leave a wax layer, allowing the polished surface to maintain its luster for a much longer time. The Champion Polishing Cloth is kind to your hands and won’t damage even the most sensitive finishes.
We hope this blog post about how to clean sterling silver without baking soda has given you a deeper understanding of sterling silver and how to keep it looking flawless.