Making jewellery shiny again

A friend of my recently mentioned that a pair of earrings she'd bought from the shop were getting darker and she was worried they had been poorly made.

It's very natural for metals, especially precious materials like silver and gold to get duller over time. This isn't a reflection of their quality, rather it's an indicator of dust and dirt building up or the result of a process called oxidation, that causes the surface to darken. To bring back the shine, reach into your kitchen or cleaning closet for some effective home remedies, you'll be amazed at the difference a few minutes' care can make.

/ Gold or gold-plated jewellery: Gently rub the surface using a soft jewellery cloth. If the surface is still tarnished and dull, soak for a few minutes in warm, soapy water and use a soft brush to gently scrub the surface. Rinse under warm running warm and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

/ Silver jewellery

Method 1: Fizzy Magic
Baking soda
Hot water
Aluminium foil
Soft cloth
A bowl

Line a bowl with aluminium foil, shiny side up. Fill the bowl with as much hot water as you need to comfortably cover your jewellery, and add the baking soda, calculating 1 teaspoon per 250 ml of water (it will start to fizz!). Place the jewellery in the bowl, so it touches the aluminium, and allow it to soak for 2—5 minutes. Remove and rinse under cool water. Dry throughly and polish with a soft cloth. Prepare to be amazed at how shiny your jewellery will be!

Method 2: Brushwork
Toothpaste (only white, not coloured)
Soft-bristled brush
Soft cloth

Apply some toothpaste to the brush, and gently rub over the jewellery for a few minutes. Rinse under warm water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth. Voila!

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Title image Sonja Schwarz, all others Vatsala Murthy

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