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Topics: Metal, Cleaning

Q.
I've used toothpaste to clean my silver necklace for about the last 4-5 years. I was just wondering if I was ok in using it or am I hurting my necklace?
- Garrett
A.
Toothpaste has abrasives in it which remove plaque and build up from the enamel of teeth. While it will work to remove tarnish, it can be damaging to your jewelry so it is not generally recommended.

Sterling silver, gold, copper or brass can be cleaned with Empire's instant tarnish remover. Dip your chain, beads or findings in the liquid for 2-10 seconds. Remove from the dip then rinse under running water. Cleaning tarnish from metal using a Moonshine® polishing cloth or a polishing cloth with rouge is also a good option for items which are not plated. Care must be used with plated items; gently rubbing a polishing cloth without rouge will help, however there is always a chance that the plating will rub off.

Storing your chains and finished jewelry pieces in an air tight zip-top plastic bag with a Shine-On™ anti-tarnish strip will help slow the oxidation process by neutralizing the sulfur gases which cause tarnish.

Also available are Tite-lip™ Anti-Tarnish Reclosable Bags manufactured with Silver Guard™, an exclusive film that neutralizes the corrosive gases that attack sterling silver. These anti-tarnish plastic bags ensure a tarnish-free product even when the bag is opened multiple times.

- Maura Buckner, Jewelry-Making Expert

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