How to Clean Sterling Silver Chains

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton cloth

  • Glass pan

  • Aluminum foil

  • Boiling water

  • Baking soda

  • Thongs

Sterling Silver Chain

Sterling silver chains need to properly cleaned to maintain their luster. Sterling silver naturally tarnishes over time as the silver and the sulfides from humidity and air pollution interact. This tarnish begins as a slightly golden opaque covering, but if left untreated it eventually turns the chain black.


Step 1

Place aluminum foil on the bottom of a glass pan shiny side up.

Step 2

Boil water. While water is boiling place your sterling silver chain on the aluminum foil. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on top of your chain.

Step 3

Pour boiling water on top of your sterling silver chain. Make sure you cover the chain completely with boiling water. Allow the chain to soak for three minutes.

Step 4

Take your tongs and flip the chain over. Make sure the opposite side of your chain is touching the aluminum foil. Leave it in for two minutes.

Step 5

Remove it from the water and dry the chain with cotton cloth.


Remove sterling silver prior to showering. Keep sterling silver from tarnishing by keeping it in a zip lock bag with a soft cotton cloth. In a pinch it can be cleaned with a silver dip. You can clean more then one chain at at time with this method.


Do not put sterling silver jewelry in chlorine.


Robin Neorr

Robin Neorr has been working as a full-time freelance writer since 2007. She has written for various websites including The Frisky. Before she started her writing career, she spent 10 years in media marketing. She has a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in communications management from John Carroll University.