The Moment is Now

I spend so much time thinking about what next that I often don't notice what I am doing at the moment. I am working on relaxing my mind so I can be open to the flow. Seems like when I am creating something the hours in my studio fly by.

My creative process, great learning resources, and ways to help the planet by repurposing are the theme of this blog. You are about to enter "the world according to Jan." Hope you find it a-musing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cleaning Jewelry with Products from your Kitchen

Being a jewelry maker I have a heap of necklaces.  Often when I go to wear one it is so covered with tarnish that I just put it away and change my outfit instead.  I was so thrilled to find this jewelry cleaning recipe I just had to write about it.

Not only did I clean my jewelry, but all my mom's silver that we use every day got cleaned as well. The silverware looks brand new.  Wish I had known about this as a kid when I used to have to polish the silver before Thanksgiving dinner.

My neighbor told me this trick then I found it on the internet. had an article about it on their site.  So here's what you need.

                                                                                    1 tablespoon salt
                                                                                    1 tablespoon baking soda
                                                                                    1 tablespoons dish soap
                                                                                     1 cup boiling water
                                                                                     A piece of aluminum foil

Take a piece of aluminum foil that roughly covers the bottom of a small bowl.  Pour the boiling water into the bowl.  Add the other ingredients and swish them around.  Put your brass, sterling, silver, german silver, or goldfilled jewelry into the bowl.  The metal needs to be touching the aluminum foil . Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  Take it out, rinse in water and dry.

I tripled the recipe and put it in a baking pan to do an 8 piece place setting of silver.  It only took minutes.  The more tarnished the piece the longer it takes of course.  There is a point when the solution no longer works.  I could actually smell the chemical reaction and saw small bubbles when I put the items in the water.   If you like to know the science behind why this works you can read that here.  In fact after reading this article seems like all you really need is aluminum foil and baking soda.  The dish soap does help clean up the beads and gems however. I'll probably leave out the salt next time.

If you have pieces of jewelry with porous gemstones like turquoise and pearls this seems to be safe.  At least my gemstones didn't seem to suffer.  On some large pieces that were really tarnished I had to leave them in the whole ten minutes.  Others I just dropped in and pulled out almost immediately.  You don't want to leave items that have been antiqued with liver of sulfur in too long or it will remove this black as well.  The chains were the best because some of them are so delicate that they are difficult to clean by hand.   Time to get off this computer and go gather up all those tarnished earrings.  Happy cleaning. 


  1. Great article, thank you! This is especially helpful for the delicate chains.

    Another idea that works well for cleaning silverware is fireplace ash. I always save the fine ash when I clean out my fireplace and at the end of winter I make sure I have a few jars put up for the year. It's a good non toxic cleaner for silver, as well as an excellent scouring powder for pots and pans, sinks, etc.

    It's great to know we don't have to purchase a cupboard full of expensive, toxic cleaners to take care of our needs.

  2. Thanks for this information, I do have small chains that need to be cleaned.
    Will try it! Smiles, Cyndi


I look forward to reading your comments so thanks for taking the time to write a little something. Wishing you the best of all possible good. Jan E O