Topics: Beading

Q.
I am working with stainless steel wire, knitting a necklace and bracelet. I notice the wire is really dark. What can I do to clean stainless steel wire and make it brighter and more shiny?
- Mariel
A.
Before weaving, gently clean the wire with water and baking soda or vinegar and rinse with water. Wipe down the wire gently with a microfiber cloth for water spots. This may be all you need for a brighter color of stainless steel. You can also try a polishing cloth as a final polish. Don't overwork this wire in the cleaning or polishing process since you'll need to have the wire as malleable as possible for your weaving designs.

If you prefer a brighter, silver-white color, sterling silver, non-tarnishing Argentium® sterling silver or sterling silver-filled wire would be good choices for your designs; the same concerns apply for work-hardening. When polishing designs made using these precious metals, you can use a weak solution of water and dish detergent in a rotary tumbler filled with 1 - 2 pounds of stainless-steel shot.

- Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador

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