Silver, copper, brass and other semi-reactive materials are prone to tarnish. Instead of using harsh commercial products to remove it from jewelry, eliminate tarnish using ordinary ingredients you have at home. The solutions will be gentler on the jewelry and on your hands.
Soak jewelry in a baking soda mixture. Line a deep dish with aluminum foil. Place the tarnished jewelry into the dish, making sure it has direct contact with the foil. Boil a quart of water in a saucepan. Remove it from the burner, then add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the hot water one teaspoon at a time, so the mixture does not fizz up and out of the pot. Pour the solution over the jewelry until it is fully immersed. Soak the pieces until you see all the tarnish has vanished.
Make a vinegar-based tarnish remover. In a shallow dish, combine 2 teaspoons of table salt and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Place the jewelry in the mixture, making sure it is fully covered. Leave your jewelry in the mixture until you see all the tarnish has disappeared. Rinse well with warm water and allow to air dry.
Give your jewelry a lemon juice bath. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a shallow dish. Place your jewelry in the dish and make sure it is fully covered. Leave your jewelry in the lemon juice until you see all the tarnish has disappeared. Rinse well with warm water and allow to air dry.
You can also use these tips on silverware or other similar tarnished items. You just may need to make more mixture to fully cover the item.
References and ResourcesMartha Stewart: Removing Tarnish
Science is Fun: Put a Shine on It
Re-Nest: Hot Tip: Remove Tarnish With Salt, Flour and Vinegar!
Reader's Digest: 34 Reasons to Load Up On Lemons