One question I am asked over and over at the gallery is "how do I keep my jewelry clean and polished?"
Well, you can use a polishing cloth and a little elbow grease, a great method if there are stones in the piece you want to clean and polish.There are dips available, but I personally am not a fan, and the more one can limit exposure to chemicals the better as fas as I'm concerned.
My favorite method involves a little old school science...think lava and volcanoes, lol. This method works especially well with chains or pieces with deep recesses that are hard to get to with a cloth - do not use this method on mixed metal pieces, i.e. copper, brass, silverplate etc - when in doubt clean by hand
Take a Pyrex or ceramic bowl and place in a layer of tinfoil, shiny side up.
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda onto the tinfoil and throw your silver jewelry on top of that (NO STONES - NO PEARLS - NO AMBER!) While this method is absolutely safe for cleaning your silver, many stones can be damaged or destroyed by the process so stick to a polishing cloth for those pieces.
Bring some water to a boil, remove from heat, and pour into bowl, enough to submerge the silver.
Now the science part - watch as the baking soda and tinfoil react and bubble like mad, all the while removing the tarnish from your jewelry! Leave the pieces submerged until the water cools, remove it from the bowl and rinse thoroughly, and voila!
Once your pieces are clean, rinsed and dried thoroughly, a great way to keep them nicely polished is to place into a ziplock bag along with a piece of chalk, or one of those little desicant packs you find in food products or new shoes - tarnish comes from moisture and oxygen so placing either of these in the bag helps keep the pieces clean and shiny when you're not wearing them.