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Removing white silver dip residue from sterling items


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#1 Kropotkin

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 07:03 AM

Hello, I'm looking for some advice on the best way to remove the white residue from silver dip on sterling wings without polishing them to a shine or damaging the finish too much. I tend not to touch the patina on silver items but I have a couple of wings that are caked with the stuff which just looks horrid. Any suggestions welcome!

#2 Bruce Linz

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:35 AM

Hello,

I don't hesitate one second to clean most of the silver insignia and sweetheart jewelry I own if they need it. Remember these items were nice and clean when they were bought. IMO they were never meant to be worn with a dark, heavy, near black patina or a bunch of white cleaning residue on them. That said I'm not a fan of dipping insignia and such in a solution, it's over kill. You could start by try to clean the insignia with warm water, soft soap and your fingers. I also like to use a silver cleaning cloth, like you would use to clean silver dinnerware (Blitz Silver Cleaning Clothing). This type of cleaning cloth usually has two clothes sewn, one for cleaning and one for polishing. After a gentle wiping and polishing I rinse them in warm water and a small amount of soft soap using just my fingers. I like the results and have found it works well on all types of silver insignia. Again, why display Insignia if it is tarnished so heavily that you can't see any of the details. Just my thoughts

Semper Fi,
Bruce Linz

#3 Tino

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 05:32 PM

Try cleaning the wings with an old toothbrush and some toothpaste.



#4 lakenormanusa

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 05:54 PM

Try a q-tip and lighter fluid. Lighter fluid removes substances without disturbing the patina.  



#5 Kropotkin

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

Thanks for your advice all.

#6 cwnorma

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 11:51 AM

The absolute best reference on silver care on the internet is on silversmith Jeffrey Herman's website:

 

http://www.hermansilver.com/care.htm

 

 

The advice there follows the best practices of the museum industry.  If you care about your silver artifacts you owe it to yourself to at least read it.

 

Chris




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