Friday, February 21, 2014

Polishing Silver: Removing Fake Tarnish

I was at a local bead shop and was pleasantly surprised to find they had a bunch of their sterling on clearance!  I picked up several pieces that I hadn't gone in looking for and was thrilled at the price - 75% off!

While I don't mind the look of tarnished/aged/antiqued sterling silver, sometimes I prefer the look of polished sterling more.  This was one of those times - I needed 1 of the flower spacer beads I had gotten but in a polished, clean silver finish. 

Before:  "Aged" Sterling Silver

I assumed that I could drop them into my silver dip (shine brite brand) and it would clean off the patina.  I don't think most bali beads have a natural patina, however - I think some sort of black ink is applied to give them the tarnished/aged/antiqued look.  So, the silver dip did not remove the black fake patina.

Next I tried a brass brush - and this is the way to go!  I used a cheap brass brush from a local hardware store, nothing fancy.  It was the smallest they had, and it was perfect.  The black came off like a dream - the silver dip helped, but the brush was the king of clean!  Another quick polish and they were ready to use and free of the black. 

After:  Polished Sterling Silver

Either way, if you're wondering how to get super shiny bali beads, a brass brush is a must!

Happy Creating,


  1. Thanks for the tip - I have a few of these and other Bali beads kicking about - I'll definitely give this a go.
    Kristin :)

  2. Great tip- thanks! I've never heard of this brush before, so will keep my eyes open for it. Christie


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