How to Clean Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver Jewelry Pieces
Rhodium-plated sterling silver is lovely but requires special maintenance and care. Here's how to clean your rhodium-plated sterling silver jewelry.
Keyword(s): rhodium-plated sterling silver
Do you struggle with figuring out how to clean your rhodium-plated jewelry? Are you afraid you'll accidentally use the wrong product or ruin your brand new necklace's shiny finish?
Rhodium-plated sterling silver is becoming more and more popular for its durability, resistance to scratches, and beautiful white shine.
But just like any high-quality jewelry, it needs to be properly taken care of so that it lasts as long as possible.
Luckily, cleaning rhodium-plated jewelry requires only a few simple tools and techniques to keep your jewelry collection looking high-end for as long as possible. Keep reading for our guide on how to clean rhodium-plated sterling silver.
What Is Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver?
If you're not quite sure of what rhodium is, you might ask, "Is rhodium-plated sterling silver good?" If you're looking for luxury at an affordable cost, then rhodium-plated jewelry is for you.
Rhodium is a precious metal that comes from the family of platinum. It's durable, reflective, and scratch-resistant, as well as hypoallergenic. It gives a beautiful white sheen to your jewelry and can make gemstones stand out more than plain silver can.
If you're unsure about cleaning rhodium-plated vs sterling silver, then you'll be glad to know that rhodium is easier to clean. Although sterling silver is a common jewelry material, it's well known that it tarnishes upon exposure to air. Even worse, high humidity and moist products like hairspray or perfume speed up the tarnishing process.
Rhodium, on the other hand, doesn't tarnish. It's scratch-resistant, keeps its shine, and doesn't corrode or dent. Best of all, it won't leave your hands green after handling it.
When in doubt, always consult an expert if you're scared that you'll damage your jewelry while cleaning it.
Cleaning Products To Avoid
Before you actually go ahead and start cleaning your rhodium-plated sterling silver jewelry, let's bring up the cleaning products you should avoid using on this jewelry at all costs.
- Harsh chemicals
- Anything abrasive
- Toothbrushes or toothpaste
- Polishing cloths for silver or gold
Harsh chemicals should never be used on your jewelry, whether it's sterling silver or rhodium-plated. Although rhodium is durable against scratches, you don't want to damage the plating by using the wrong materials on it.
Supplies You'll Need
Don't be alarmed at this list of supplies as most of them can already be found in your home. You may need to get a polishing cloth if you don't have one already, but otherwise, you should have everything in your kitchen cabinet. You'll need:
- Two bowls
- Mild detergent
- A soft towel or a microfiber cloth
- A soft polishing cloth (optional)
If you have multiple pieces of rhodium-plated jewelry to clean, consider waiting to clean them all at once to save time.
Additionally, if you decide to use a microfiber cloth, make sure it hasn't been treated with any chemicals. The goal is to avoid using anything harsh on your rhodium-plated jewelry, whether that's a chemical or an abrasive material.
Steps To Clean Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver Jewelry
Now that you have your supplies and your jewelry ready, let's start cleaning. If you're unfamiliar with the steps, just take it slow so that you don't damage anything by accident. You'll get used to the cleaning process eventually and your jewelry will look all the better for it.
Prepare Your Bowls
First, fill one of the bowls with 1 cup of warm water.
Then, add 1/3 of a cup of mild detergent to the bowl with warm water. Mix to combine. This will be your washing bowl.
You'll use one of the bowls to wash your jewelry and the other bowl to rinse it, so remember which is which. Fill the other bowl with room temperature water. Don't add anything else to this bowl, as it will be your rinsing bowl.
Put your rhodium-plated silver jewelry in the washing bowl. It's important to let it soak for ten minutes to remove any dirt that may have gotten stuck on the surface.
Then, gently rub the jewelry with your fingers to clean it. As mentioned above, do not use toothbrushes or any abrasive materials. Rhodium doesn't tarnish, so your fingers will be able to do the job.
Make sure that you don't leave your jewelry in the detergent mixture for longer than 15 minutes. This includes cleaning time, so consider using a timer.
Now, transfer your washed jewelry to the rinsing bowl. Rinse your jewelry in the water. You can replace the water in the bowl as many times as you want, but just make sure to keep using room temperature water.
The important thing in this step is to remove all the soap residue, and a good indicator is whether your rinsing water looks soapy or clear. Always be gentle even when rinsing so you don't damage the plating on your jewelry.
Place your jewelry on a soft towel or a microfiber cloth. The softer the towel the better, so if you have something made of Egyptian cotton, then use that.
Gently pat the jewelry dry. Remember that friction is what causes the plating to come off, so the gentler you are, the longer the rhodium plating will last.
Let the jewelry dry overnight if needed. It's better to let it air dry than to rub it too much and wear off the plating. If you need to wear the jewelry to a special occasion, consider washing it a few days beforehand so that you're not hurriedly rubbing the jewelry dry.
Before storing your jewelry, you can optionally polish it. If you're using a polishing cloth, make sure to use one that's gentle. Often, this would be a cloth that's used for diamonds or other luxurious gems.
Carefully store your jewelry in a jewelry box. To prevent more friction or rubbing, consider wrapping the jewelry in a layer of tissue paper. You could also store it in a separate compartment of your jewelry box or in a soft velvet jewelry bag.
Treat Yourself To Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver Today
As you can see, rhodium-plated sterling silver jewelry is durable, beautiful, and easy to maintain, as long as you take the right steps to care for it. When cleaning your rhodium-plated jewelry, always remember to avoid harsh chemicals, don't rub your jewelry too much, and always be gentle. These steps will keep your jewelry looking shiny and brand new for as long as possible.
Are you ready to add some luxurious rhodium jewelry to your collection? From earrings to necklaces, take a look at our beautiful selection of rhodium-plated sterling silver today.