Even with the best intentions and care, jewelry will tarnish over time. Base metals (the kind that most fast fashion/costume jewelry is made of) tends to go through this process much quicker than precious metals (14K gold, sterling silver, and platinum, for example) due to the chemical reactions that occur when metals are exposed to the air and chemicals in it.
At Love Yanz, we embrace costume jewelry because we recognize its convenience for people who don't want to spend a fortune on a jewelry piece that they don't need long-term or don't plan to keep forever. It's our philosophy that some jewelry is meant to be fun and for the moment. Creating jewelry out of base metal allows for that flexibility at an affordable price.
If you're a savvy customer, you still expect to get the most bang for your buck. This means that you may have to dedicate some time (and a few resources) to keep your costume jewelry looking as great as the day you bought it.
Here are a few at-home remedies for getting rid of tarnish:
Sunshine Cloths (Our Pick)
Sunshine cloths are a professional jeweler's dream, but are easy for anyone to use. They are the secret to getting high shine with final effort. These professional cleaning cloths and their competitors have become more readily available in our direct to consumer culture.
Pro Tip: You can buy sunshine cloths in bulk on Amazon.com. They are super effective in cleaning and polishing simultaneously, but if you have multiple pieces, then you'll definitely want to grab more than a few. They turn a dark color as they clean and they cannot be washed.
The acidity in ketchup makes it an ideal cleaning agent for fast removal of tarnish. The fact that most people have this ingredient at home helps too! Place the ketchup on a soft cloth and gently polish the piece; applying additional pressure in areas that are severely tarnished. Rinse any additional ketchup off with warm water and dry thoroughly.
Water, Salt and Baking Soda
Warm 3 parts water in an appropriately sized bowl for your jewelry piece. Mix in 1 part salt and 2 parts baking soda. Gently dip the piece in the bowl and mix to ensure the piece is submersed in the mixture. The piece should clean without much scrubbing, but follow up with a soft cloth as needed. As an alternative for heavy duty needs, try creating a paste out of the same ingredients and applying to areas in need of attention. Be sure to dry the piece thoroughly.
Pro Tip: There are few variations on this approach that you may want to try depending on your tarnish levels and available ingredients. One alternative is water, vinegar and salt. Be aware that vinegar is highly acidic! You shouldn't leave any jewelry in a vinegar bath for extended periods of time.