It's so annoying to see the decorative objects that once appeared so attractive and shiny, have now turned all dull and drab. Metals like gold, silver, brass, etc., are bound to lose their luster with time, because as they get exposed to air, the moisture, sulfur, and oxygen present in it react with the metal and tarnish it.
The encouraging part about tarnishes is that they can be easily removed with the help of simple items from our kitchen cabinets. These tarnish removers can be prepared easily at home. Thus, getting the sheen back on these precious items is not an expensive affair.
Natural Ways to Remove Tarnish from Brass
There are scores of decorative brass items that are available in the market today. Right from Indian brass handicrafts to artifacts, candlesticks, vases, etc., brass is a popular metal found in many houses. However, with time its honey-gold color changes to a dull brown due to its chemical reaction with air. Here are some ways to burnish the metal and bring back its sheen.
Take one cup of white vinegar and add two tsp. of salt to it. Stir and then add enough unsifted baking flour, till a smooth paste is formed. Moisten your brass item with tepid water and then dab the paste with a soft rag onto it. After 15 minutes, rinse the brass item with water and dry well. You will find the dark tarnish vanishing from the surface, thereby revealing its original amber-gold color and sheen.
Ketchup and White Vinegar
Combine 2 tbsp. of tomato ketchup and one tbsp. of white vinegar. Dunk a soft rag into the paste and rub it onto the tarnished vase. Rub the insides thoroughly as well. Once the paste dries, rinse the vase with water and dry thoroughly. You will have your precious shiny brass vase back! To prevent further tarnishing rub some olive oil onto the vase with a soft rag.
Besides these remedies, lemon, ammonia, and plain ketchup are also effective.
Natural Ways to Remove Tarnish from Gold Jewelry
18 carat or higher gold does not get tarnished, however, gold jewelry within the range of 9-14 carats is seen to fade with time. This is because it contains less percentage of gold to alloy. However, one need not worry. The luster can be brought back by some simple remedies.
To remove the tarnish off your gold jewelry, a mild dishwashing liquid will do the trick. Apply some of the liquid on the tarnished area and rub it evenly with the help of your finger. If your piece of gold jewelry has a lot of intricate patterns, use a soft toothbrush to remove the tarnish. Rinse under running water and dry thoroughly.
If there's a special occasion, and you want your gold jewelry looking all lustrous, then, get some ammonia and dilute it in water (6 parts water to one part ammonia). Dip your jewelry for a minute in this solution. Quickly take it out and rinse thoroughly under running tap water. Dry well. Do not use this often, as it has abrasive effects on the gold.
Treating Tarnished Silver Jewelry
The sulfur compounds in the air react with the silver and cause it to become discolored. The sparkling silver metal turns yellow, and then to shades of brown. This can be depressing, especially if you are attached to your silverware. Let's find out how to get rid of the unpleasant tarnish.
Take some baking soda and add a little water to form a paste. Apply this smooth paste using a soft rag or cloth. Dab the paste onto the silverware or jewelry's surface and rub the tarnished areas gently. The discoloration will come off. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly.
Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda
Take a pan and place aluminum foil at its base. Now in another pot boil one gallon water. Once it has been boiled, add one cup of baking soda and mix well. Place the tarnished silver item onto the aluminum foil, and pour this hot solution over it. The tarnish will begin to disappear.
Plain ammonia diluted with water works well on precious stones like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, etc. Clean and polish your precious jewelry at home every three months. However, make it a point to get your jewelry cleaned and inspected by a professional at least once in every two years.