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30. Removing Tarnish
Wednesday, 06 Jul 2016
David :
I'm a bit concerned about my latest ring. I got it seven days ago and already it's extremely tarnished. I've attached a photo of it next to the other one I bought from you some months ago - the first one is still quite bright, while the other one has tarnished a lot in only a week.
Why is it tarnishing so much more quickly than the other? I haven't done anything with only the hand that it's on compared to the other hand, with the older ring.
And what do you recommend to remove the tarnish? I've seen a few solutions online involving baking soda and aluminium - but other sites say that that can scratch your silver.
Jeff :
Hmm, I don't know why it is tarnishing so much more quickly than the other. The castings for your RONRING were produced by the same company who did your YURIY.
I suggest using a wire brush with soap and water. We'll send you one tomorrow. Give that a try, and if the results aren't satisfactory we will replace the ring.
David : 
A wire brush? Won't that be kind of harsh, scratch the silver? What about something like aluminium and baking soda, like I read about on the net?
Jeff : 
Well, the wire in the brush is pretty fine, so you wouldn't see the scratches unless you got out your magnifying glass.
When considering scratches, bear in mind that some of the ones your ring will sustain during normal day-to-day wear and tear would be noticeable, while the wire-brush treatment just makes it look shiny.
Since scratches are inevitable, I would suggest that you have nothing to lose by trying the aluminium/baking soda combination first. If you are satisfied with the result then I wouldn't need to send you the wire brush.
David :
Okay, I'll try the aluminium/baking soda - I'll let you know how that goes. Don't bother with sending the wire brush :)
Jeff :
OK, sounds good to me.
By chance I noticed an article on the Huffington Post on just this subject, I followed a link and saw the process. No scratching will occur, it ought to do the job just fine. You would be doing me a favour by reporting on the success (or otherwise) that you have.
David :
I tried it with a small bowl lined with aluminium foil, water straight out of the hot water tap in the kitchen and a level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in the water. I 'undid' the ring so that the solution could get to each of the 6 bands and dropped it in. Nothing happened. I'd read that it was all done by a chemical reaction, so I was kind of expecting some bubbling or foaming or something. Got nothing. And as far as I could see, none of the six bands changed colour (of course, since each of the bands is not much more than a millimeter wide, it was hard to see their colour in the water anyway. So after perhaps a minute I pulled the ring out, rinsed it off, put it back together and put it on - and noticed that it was now a bright silver in colour. I sent you that photo last week of the two rings I have - in terms of tarnish and clear silver colour, they're now both the same, so you can see how much the process did for the newer of the two rings.
I've also had a close look and can see no scratches at all - perhaps some might be visible with a magnifying glass, but since I'm not in the habit of examining my rings with a magnifying glass, I don't much care.
All in all, a big success!
I still have no idea why it tarnished so badly inside a week after I first got it, and I'll keep an eye on it to see if it tends to tarnish much more quickly than the other one.
Jeff : 
Thanks for the feedback, because of it we will now be putting up a Blog entry about this issue. 
>"I still have no idea why it tarnished so badly inside a week"
The only thing I can think of is that your hand came into contact with a chemical that caused a reaction. Certainly, I know that contact with a bleaching agent can have this kind of effect.
>"I've also had a close look and can see no scratches at all"
No, this treatment relies upon a chemical reaction, not abrasion, to remove the discolouration, so there wouldn't be any, at least none that weren't already there.
>"I'll keep an eye on it to see if it tends to tarnish much more quickly than the other one."
You'd be doing us a favour by updating us on future developments.
David :
Regarding my first point - why it tarnished so badly inside a week - I can only agree with you. My hand must have come into contact with some particular chemical that caused that reaction. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that my right hand would have done so while my left hand did not. Certainly, since I cleaned it as I described to you, the new ring has shown no signs of tarnishing at all.
Jeff :
Glad to hear it. And we've learned something from this as well about the use of baking soda, aluminium foil and hot water :)