Worst Cleaning Products for Silver

The Worst Cleaning Products for Silver Jewellery and Objects

In this blog we will look at three of the worst cleaning products that damage silver jewellery and objects. You may have seen videos or read blogs, offering DIY silver cleaning products that are inexpensive, readily available in every households. In this blog, I will look at three of the worst cleaning products for silver Jewellery and object and I will explain why you should NOT use these items to clean your silver

If you would like to know more about the products and services you should be using, please 3 Top Tips for Cleaning Silver HERE


Table of Contents

No 1: Worst Cleaning Product for Silver Jewellery and Objects is Toothpaste

Toothpaste is one of the worst cleaning products for silver jewellery and objects as its designed for your teeth!

Toothpaste is the worst cleaning products for silver jewellery and objects as it has chemicals, additives and is abrasive. Toothpaste often contains chemicals and additives, such as whitening agents and flavourings, which may react with the silver and tarnish silver further rather than cleaning it effectively. 

Overall, toothpaste as a cheap cleaning product for silver, might seem like a convenient solution, but its abrasive nature and chemical components make it unsuitable for preserving the beauty and longevity of your silver items.

No 2: Worst Cleaning Products for Silver Jewellery and objects is Lemon Juice 

Another DIY option is to combine lemon and salt into a paste and rub it all over your silver items. As we know, lemons and salt are a natural and cost effective solution that can easily be found at home or at least added to your next weekly shop. But there are negative aspects to this method.

Lemons are the worst cleaning products for silver as they are acidic and corrosive

The acidic nature of lemon juice as a cleaning product for silver can actually corrode and tarnish silver over time rather than effectively clean it. So in rubbing lemon juice all over your jewellery, you may be contributing to the problem, not preventing it.

Again the abrasive paste can scratch the surface of silver if rubbed against it. This is especially true in cases where the metal is really soft, like with Fine Silver (99% silver) or with older and antique jewellery.

The abrasive nature of lemon and salt may weaken the structural integrity of the piece over time. If your piece of jewellery or silver is covered in scratches, this can weaken the the silver thus requiring requiring repairs in the future

The use of lemon and salt may not effectively remove all types of tarnish or grime from intricate or hard-to-reach areas of the jewellery, thus leaving it looking uneven or incomplete. Lemon and salt might offer a quick fix for tarnished silver jewellery, however the long-term consequences outweigh the short-term benefits as a cleaning product


No 3: Worst cleaning products for Silver Jewellery and objects is Aluminium Foil and Baking Soda

Another DIY solution found all over the internet is a combination of aluminium foil and baking soda bath. The process normally involves lining a container with aluminium foil, placing the tarnished silver items on top, sprinkling them with baking soda and then pouring boiling hot water over the top of them. The idea being that the foil and baking soda create a chemical reaction that removes tarnish from the silver.

However, I would not recommend this method of cleaning silver for several reasons!

Baking Soda is one of the worst cleaning products for silver jewellery and objects as it is Abrasive

Again, the abrasive nature of baking soda combined with the mechanical action of scrubbing the silver against the aluminium foil can scratch and damage the surface of the silver. Silver is a precious metal and is quite soft in comparison to other metals like titanium or steel.

Boiling water can cause thermal shock

Secondly, the hot water used in the process can cause thermal shock to the silver, leading to warping or weakening of the metal, especially if it's antique or of lesser quality.

Thirdly, the mixture of soda and foil can be abrasive to precious stones, such as peals, sapphires, emeralds and even diamonds. It is possible to scratch or crack a diamond. Diamonds are not unbreakable! So DIY methods such as this can pose significant risks to the integrity and appearance of your silver items in the long term.


While toothpaste, lemon juice, and the combination of baking soda and aluminum foil may seem like convenient and cost-effective solutions and products for cleaning silver, their potential drawbacks far outweigh any perceived benefits. These household items, with their abrasive textures, acidic properties, and chemical reactions, can inadvertently cause more harm than good to your cherished silver pieces. From scratches and corrosion to tarnishing and structural damage, these methods pose significant risks to the integrity and beauty of your silver items in the long term.

Instead of relying on these quick fixes, it's essential to explore safer and more effective alternatives for cleaning and maintaining your silver jewellery and heirlooms.

If you would like more details of how to look after your silver, click HERE

More Blogs by Rahaima


Polishing a Silver Hammered Hand Wrought Bowl Video. 

This is how all silver should be cleaned and polished. 


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