How Do You Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry?

Sterling silver jewelry should look like new after a thorough cleaning.

Photo: Hemera Technologies/ Images

If your fab sterling silver necklace is looking a little dingy, it's probably time for a good cleaning. Sterling silver -- while durable and long-lasting -- will get dirty and tarnish. This can leave the piece looking less than dazzling. But cleaning sterling silver jewelry the wrong way can destroy the piece altogether. Jazz up your sterling silver by cleaning it with the right products and methods. You'll be donning those gorgeous sterling silver earrings and flashing your silver hand bling in no time.


Rub down your silver jewelry with a soft, 100-percent cotton cloth for an initial light cleaning. It's not necessary to get the cloth wet. Wipe the silver off with the cloth using a straight motion, rather than circular. Do this each time you take your sterling silver jewelry off to remove the dirt, makeup, body oil and other grime that has accumulated on it.


If your sterling silver is really dirty and in need of a deep cleaning, fill a bowl with ½ cup of warm water. Add a few drops of mild liquid dish soap and let the piece soak for about two minutes. Take it out, and scrub it gently with a soft, 100-percent cotton cloth. Rinse it under clean water, and dry the piece with a clean, cotton cloth.


Get rid of tarnish on your sterling silver by cleaning it with a non-abrasive metal cleaner and a soft, 100-percent cotton cloth. Wipe the jewelry with the cloth and just a dab of the metal cleaner to remove the tarnish. Once the tarnish is gone, rinse the silver under warm water, and then dry it with a clean, cotton cloth.

Things You'll Need


1.Soft, 100 percent cotton cloths

3.Mild liquid dish soap


4.Non-abrasive metal cleaner


Tips & Tricks


Stay away from cleaning sterling silver jewelry with ultrasonic cleaners, abrasive cleaners, detergents, ammonia and commercial jewelry cleaning dips.

If your sterling silver jewelry has pearls or gemstones affixed, don't soak the piece for any period of time in water. It can loosen the settings.

Store your sterling silver jewelry in a cloth jewelry pouch in a dry, cool place once you have finished cleaning.


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