You can create your own jewelry-cleaning solution as an alternative to commercial products that contain potentially hazardous chemicals. Keep in mind there are several recipes available for different types of jewelry–so choose the recipe that will yield the best results for the items you intend to clean. The recipe that follows is suited to silver jewelry, because it reverses the oxidation that causes silver to tarnish. Restore the shine to your silver quickly and inexpensively with this homemade jewelry-cleaning solution.

Things You'll Need

Heat 1 cup of water in a casserole dish in a microwave for 2 minutes. You can boil the water on a stovetop, but it isn’t necessary.

Line the casserole dish with a piece of aluminum foil. The foil does not have to entirely cover the bottom of the dish, but it should be large enough to accommodate your jewelry.

Add 1 tsp. of baking soda, 1 tsp. of dishwashing liquid and 1 tsp. of salt to the dish. When mixed together, the ingredients will cause effervescence.

Place your silver jewelry into the homemade cleaning solution and allow it to set for 5 to 7 minutes. Make sure the silver is in contact with the aluminum.

Remove the jewelry from the cleaning mixture and rinse with cool water. Place the jewelry in a strainer before you rinse it, so you don’t lose any small items.

Buff the silver jewelry with a rouge cloth. Use a cloth designed to remove the remaining silver sulfide (the black coating that tarnishes silver).

Discard the cleaner after each use. The ingredients break down over time, and will not be as effective as a fresh mixture made for each new cleaning.


  • Always test the effectiveness of any homemade jewelry-cleaning solution on unimportant items first. Keep in mind that metals react differently, and there is always a chance the water will loosen the glue on rhinestone jewelry.