At least in my opinion. I’ve never understood why people oxidize silver – wear some crappy base metal jewelry if you want it to look tarnished. Don’t splurge on a precious metal.
But sterling silver can be a bit of a pain in the ass. Looks pretty, tarnishes quickly – especially in a muggy climate. Silver polish is messy and, well…really messy. Most people don’t have a tumbler with stainless steel shot to keep their silver clean so here’s a method that works pretty well and is super easy.
Take a glass bowl or baking dish and cover the inside with aluminum foil.
Sprinkle a healthy amount of baking soda around the bottom.
Lay your silver items in the pan, make sure they are touching both the foil and the soda.
Boil enough water to cover your items –
Pour in and wait @10 minutes!
There will be fizzing. There might even be a rotten egg stink – that’s good. That means it’s working. Heavily tarnished items might need a second try and you might even have to break out the gross polish for serious neglect, but this is great for light tarnish.
Rinse with clean water and dry. To keep the tarnish from coming back as quickly, store completely dry silver in airtight containers or Ziploc baggies. I know, not as pretty as having them hang off a necklace tree, but effective. WARNING – if your silver has hard gemstones in it like quartz or garnet, it will do fine but I wouldn’t throw in something with a softer stone like fluorite or selenite until you enjoy the thrill of risk. Definitely not pearls!