Silver jewelry always looks best when it's polished to a mirror finish. When you let it go too long without upkeep (like I did) the black tarnish that forms can be a real pain to remove. Luckily, just when I was about to give up, my dad came through with this product that made my silver shine like new.
While I was in California for Mother's Day, my mom noticed the Until There's a Cure silver and gold cuff she and my dad gave me for my 18th birthday was completely tarnished on the inside. The outside was still bright, but the inscription my parents had put on the inside was barely visible underneath the black tarnish that had formed over the last decade.
We'd tried to clean it before: My mother's fine jewelry cleaning cloth polished up the black tarnish but didn't remove a bit of it, making me wonder if the bracelet was really just plated silver that I had worn through entirely. Next, we tried putting the bracelet in a piece of aluminum foil with baking soda and vinegar. This creates a chemical reaction that allowed parts of the tarnish to dissolve in blotchy patches. After soaking in the solution for a couple of hours, it was looking a little better, but still pretty bad.
After bringing the piece to my father for inspection he went into a drawer and pulled out a weathered tin can of Nevr-Dull with the phrase "the original magic wadding polish" printed on it.
Although it has some pretty heavy-duty purposes (it's used to polish motorcycle trim), Nevr-Dull works effectively on more delicate objects, too. It's safe to use on most metals, it won't scratch and it doesn't leave a residue. I was shocked by how a few quick swipes took off the same amount of tarnish it had taken hours to remove. In less than five minutes, the bracelet was looking new. I used a toothpick to help get pieces of cotton into the tiny crevices around the gold ribbon and when the job was done I gave it a final polish with the jewelry cloth I had originally used. Voila!
My dad's advice: Don't throw away the cotton as soon as it gets dirty, but keep reusing it until it wont pick up any more tarnish. Though, it doesn't really matter because the can lasts forever: "You buy yourself a can of this stuff and you've bought yourself a lifetime supply," says my dad.
I guess sometimes fathers really do know best.
Nevr-Dull, $8.07, available on Amazon (Prime).