Causes of Silver Blackening
Pure silver products are extremely rare. Often, jewelry is made from an alloy with copper. The most common 925 sample, in which silver is 92, 5%, and copper is 7, 5%.Copper increases the strength of the alloy, but the finished product oxidizes over time and turns black. First of all, copper impurities in it are oxidized.
Copper reacts with sulfur and oxygen from the surrounding air. As a result, a dark bloom appears on the surface of the product, which cannot be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, and it is simply meaningless to use water or soap solutions.
Silver itself also reacts with sulfur in the presence of oxygen and forms a black sulfide layer, which can be cleaned by chemical means. Factors affecting the intensity and speed of blackening:
- high humidity;
- increased ambient temperature;
- presence of sulfur;
- presence of strong oxidizing agents.
Human sweat contains sulfur, so for some people silver items turn black especially quickly. If the silver chain or rings are brightened by themselves, this may indicate that there is a large amount of ammonia in the sweat.In order to clean your jewelry more rarely, keep it in a dry, closed place and dip it into the water as rarely as possible. Make sure that the perfume liquid, cosmetics, drugs are not silver. If you dye your hair, then remove the rings, chains and other products, or close them from getting paint.
The more impurities in silver, the faster it will turn black. For this reason, cutlery with low breakdown must be cleaned more often than high-grade decorations.
We must remember that peroxide is a substance that donates its oxygen atom to oxidize or reduce a substance. And here the fun begins.
From some compounds, peroxide can restore silver, purify it, and we will get a clarified shiny product. If other metals are present in the alloy, the reverse process can occur when silver is processed with hydrogen peroxide instead of clarification. Your decoration will become stained or turn black. It will be very difficult to clean such a raid, you will have to contact experienced jewelers.
There are tips to clean the silver with peroxide with the addition of ammonia. Having prepared the solution, check its action first on the inside of the ring or on the fastener of the chain. Dampen cotton wool and grease the metal. The product can be cleaned only if silver is brightened.
From all this it is necessary to draw the right conclusions. You can clean blackened silver with hydrogen peroxide, but with great care. If you do not want to spoil the product, then use other methods.
How to clean silver
Before you start cleaning a silver product in any way, wash it in warm, soapy water. This will eliminate visible dirt, grease and soot.
The best household cleaning product for silver is a tooth powder mixed with a little water. It has light abrasive properties and removes all dirt from the surface of objects, as well as cleans the film, which appears as a result of oxidation processes.
It is good to clean silver at home by using chalk and ammonia, which is an aqueous solution of ammonia. Make a slurry of chalk and ammonia, soak a cotton swab in it and wipe the product.
You can leave the solution on the metal for a few minutes, and when it dries, use a brush to clean it.
Objects made of silver with an uneven surface, various decorations, engraving, curls can be dipped in a glass of ammonia and left for several hours. Then take out, rinse and wipe dry.
You can clean the chain or silver ring with soda. It is necessary to pour the soda into the water( 2 tsp per cup) and boil the objects for several minutes. If you boil silver in an aluminum dish, it will turn out even better to clean it by chemical reactions.
Jewelry with stones
Products with stones require more careful treatment at home. They can not be cleaned with acids and other aggressive substances. Some stones, for example, turquoise, are sensitive even to the effects of moisture, so they cannot be dipped in water.
Stones can be cleaned with special products purchased at a jewelry store. The napkins which are deleting fat and other pollution from silver and stones are on sale.Pearl jewelry is dipped in soapy water and washed with a soft cloth, then washed, placed in clean water. Applying ammonia or hydrogen peroxide to pearls is strictly prohibited.
Topaz and amethyst are resistant to the effects of weak acids and alkalis, so they can be cleaned of contamination with any detergent, but high-temperature water should not be applied to them, as the stones darken when heated.
Quartz and fianit can also be washed by adding a little liquid soap to the water. These stones are not finicky, resistant to external factors. Hard to reach places can be cleaned with a toothpick, winding some cotton over it.