Loyal readers may remember that I did a Pinterest Experiment this past January involving an alternative method to polishing silver. You may also remember that I later apologized for it, as it was an unmitigated mess. I am here today to redeem myself. As I mentioned on Monday, this week FTTDWYW is making amends. To redeem my electrochemical flop, I wanted to share with you my (much tested) preferred method of polishing silver. In addition to that, I wanted share with you a/n DIY/up-cycled silver jewelry saver.
I’ve been polishing silver for a long time. From my grandmother’s collection of souvenir spoons from across the globe to helping my mom maintain her collection, I have logged many hours polishing. I actually kind of like it. Like wiping counters clean, there is something satisfying about the instant gratification of polishing. Along with the electrochemical reaction method mentioned above, I have also used silver polishing clothes and the traditional silver cream. Although I like the portability of the polishing clothes for jewelry, I’ve found that the clothes leave a slight, powdery residue that irritates my earlobes when I wear recently polished earrings. Sometimes, the old and true ways really are the best. For my money, I polish my silver like my mom and grandmama do… with creamy, silver polish. Like them, I set up my unpolished silver on the counter to the left of the sink, and set up a towel drying station to the right. The creamy purple goop and the hexagonal applicator do it every time. For nooks and crevices, I gently apply cream into the piece with a toothbrush. By rinsing the piece and then hand drying it, you remove all residue (which my earlobes appreciate). If your store doesn’t have Wright’s Silver Cream (it should), look for it in our FTTDWYW Amazon store!
As I mentioned, my attempt at polishing electrochemically, was such an epic fail. Although the results were impressive at the time of experiment, within the week all pieces were tarnished again… but this time in weird colors. In the below top row, see the orange, purple, and green pieces.
So, I cleaned all the above pieces nice and shiny. Now to keep it that way! Here is where the DIY/up-cycling happens. You guys know how much I love up-cycling. I live for giving something another use instead of tossing it in the trash. I’m am super allergic to a host of things– both inside AND out!–and as such, I go through bottles of Allergra allergy medicine on the reg. Although the plastic bottle is recyclable, the lid is not. Neither is the tube of desiccant. I ran across an article on alternative uses for desiccants and one of the suggestions was to put them in a sealed container with your silver to prevent tarnishing. Lord knows I have some containers- as I have been trying to make the switch from Tupperware to glass… AND I’m collecting them for another pass at the adorable painted animal glass jars. As all my animal jars were taken, I found another cool jar amongst my collection. I put 6 tubes of desiccant inside the jar and went to do the same to my silver. Upon my return with my jewelry, I eyed the jar critically and realized that although the benefit of putting desiccant in a jar was substantial, wouldn’t it be even cooler if I didn’t have to SEE the desiccant while it was providing moisture absorbing powers? Light bulb moment. I decided to hot-glue the tubes together, than onto the inside-top of the mason jar lid, and voila! All the power of the desiccant without having to see any of it!
Since I had to break out the hot-glue gun, I collected my other things that needed hot-gluing (above, picture 1-fridge magnet of windmill that had lost its magnet and an awesome pair of clip- on earrings that has come loose) and went to town. See the above log of desiccants (middle)? And then that same log glued to the lid (above right)?
Once I was done hot-gluing, I put half of my polished silver in the jar, and the other on my earring display stand on my dresser- intending a side-by-side comparison to see if the desiccants really worked. You’se guys. It really worked. Three weeks later, the silver that was displayed was starting to tinge- which is better than the electrochemical method which tarnished almost immediately. The silver in my snazzy silver keeper? Looked totally freshly polished! (see middle picture vs. picture on right)
Pretty cool, huh? All silver, from now on, will be going in my silver saver.
What do you think? Do you wear silver jewelry? Are you allergic to everything? Do you have commemorative spoon from around the world? As always, let us know!