How to Clean Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver Jewelry
Rhodium plated sterling silver jewelry requires special care and maintenance. Therefore, it is worth knowing what your jewelry is made of so you can give them proper care to maintain its beauty for a long time.
What does rhodium plated sterling silver mean?
First, sterling silver is an alloy (or mixture) of silver consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Silver sterling is identified by the number 925 (often stamped onto jewelry items). Silver, which is 99.9% pure silver or fine silver, is too soft and unsuitable for manufacturing jewelry. It is therefore alloyed with other metals to give it strength.
Rhodium is a hard durable precious metal of the platinum family. Rhodium plating (electroplating) is usually done to prevent scratching or tarnishing, protect the underlying metal, give the jewelry a white and shiny appearance and make it durable.
Rhodium plated sterling silver is therefore jewelry (earrings, rings, necklaces, chains, etc) made from sterling silver plated with a small outer layer of rhodium that also gives that shining and sparkling appearance.
Learning how to clean your rhodium plated sterling silver will prolong its sparkling appearance.
1. Never use any chemicals on your rhodium plated jewelry.
2. Do not use toothbrush or toothpaste.
3. Do not use abrasives of any kind.
4. Don't use polishing cloths intended for use on uncoated silver and gold jewelry products.
5. Don't use amonia-based products.
6. Don't place in an ultra-sonic cleaner.
7. Don't use silver dips.
8. Always consult a jewelry professional if you aren't sure.
You need the following things to clean rhodium plated sterling silver jewelry:
- Warm water
- Mild liquid detergent
- Bowls - one for washing and one for rinsing
- Soft towel, 100% organic cotton
- Treatment-free microfiber cloth
- Tissue paper
- Soft polishing cloth (optional)
I do not recommend using toothbrush. But if you want, you can use the very soft bristle brush like baby's tooth brush.
Step 1: Prepare Detergent Solution
Prepare the washing solution by combining 1/3 cup of a mild liquid detergent with 1 cup warm water in one of the bowls.
Step 2: Soak and Wash the Jewelry
Soak the rhodium plated sterling silver jewelry in the solution for 10 minutes. Then using your fingers, gently rub your jewelries to clean them. Do not rub hard and use hard toothbrush. Avoid scratching. Ensure that the items do not stay in the detergent solution for more than 15 minutes.
Step 3: Rinse the Jewelry
Fill the other bowl with distilled or bottled room temperature water. Rinse off the jewelry to remove all soapy water. If you need to repeat the rinsing with new water to remove all detergent residue, do that. Again, rinse gently with care.
Step 4: Drying the Jewelry
Dry the washed jewelry by placing them on soft towels like 100% soft cotton, or better still on treatment-free microfiber cloth specially made for rhodium-plated silver and gently pat them dry. You can leave the jewelry to dry overnight if you wish.
Step 5: Storing the Jewelry
Place the rhodium plated sterling silver jewelry on tissue paper and wrap them gently. Each piece should be wrapped in a separate paper. Store the jewelry in an airtight jewelry storage box.
Moonglow™ MIcrofiber Cloth for Rhodium Metals
Moonglow Cloth for Rhodium is a treatment-free simple and soft microfiber cloth, specifically made for cleaning rhodium plated sterling silver or white gold. After cleaning and rinsing in step 3 above, you can use this soft cloth to pat dry the jewelry and give it a polishing new look.
Alternatively, you can use this cloth to gently buff and clean the dirt, moisture and streaks on your jewelry and make them sparking shine without having to wash them.
Moonglow Cloth of Rhodium does not contain harsh chemicals or abrasives. The soft microfiber cloth is 8″ x 8″, is white in color and is washable. It is non-toxic and environmentally friendly and is made in the USA.
Sunshine Polishing Cloth for Silver Sterling
Sunshine Polishing Cloth for silver sterling is a highly recommended cleaning and polishing cloth for silver sterling jewelry. Some people use and recommend this for cleaning their rhodium-plated silver sterling. Note that this cloth polishing cloth works best on sterling silver, gold, brass and copper jewelry. It is too harsh for your rhodium-plated silver. It is recommended that you check the manufacturer's label to first ensure that the cloth does not contain harsh chemicals or abrasives. Then, polish your rhodium plated silver sterling jewelry very gently with it.
© 2016 O William