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Nickel silver, also known as nickel brass, was developed by German metalworkers from Chinese paktong (“white copper”) alloy in the 19th century. The shine and color give it an appearance that is similar to silver.
For polishing purposes, some would consider it a type of brass. That’s because nickel silver does not usually contain any silver, and instead is a mixture of copper, nickel, and zinc.
Read on to find out how to clean nickel silver to keep your precious items in good condition.
It has been used in many things like – cutlery sets, showpieces, ornaments, musical instruments, and more. While giving these items a resemblance to silver, nickel silver keeps the price down.
Proper cleaning of nickel silver is important because what makes the silver shine, may turn nickel silver into black. Harsh chemicals and hard surfaces can damage both the metals.
That’s why you will want to know how to clean nickel silver.
How to Clean Nickel Silver
Method 1: Use a polishing kit
You can use a polishing kit to keep your favorite nickel silver items looking great. Even the oldest heirlooms can look like new again.
First, make sure the surface is dry. Wipe off the excess surface dust.
Then apply the cream onto a soft cloth. Gently buff in a circular motion until a black residue shows up. This should take about 10-15 seconds.
With a polishing cloth, buff gently to remove the residue.
If the nickel silver item will be in contact with food, wash with soapy water and dry with a soft cloth.
Method 2: Use a metal cleaner
A metal cleaner works for instant result removing years of tarnish and buildup from nickel silver items with its concentrated formula.
The cleaner is also safe and non-toxic, so you won’t even need gloves to handle this fruity scented cream.
Use a soft cloth with a bit of the cream and polish in a circular motion.
Then, you may wash everything with soapy water and dry it with a soft towel. Then, admire the incredible shine.
How to Clean Nickel Silver with Household Ingredients
Use baking soda and water to clean nickel silver and wash the nickel silver with lukewarm water. A mixture of vinegar and water is another easy method to clean nickel silver. Adding corn starch will provide you a better result in terms of cleaning hard stains on the nickel silver.
1. Basic cleaning
Rinse it thoroughly and dry it with a soft lint-free cloth.
It is the best home remedy. This method should remove the dirt from your item. You can also use this mild dish soap method for routine cleaning.
If your object is detachable and small, then find an appropriate deep container that is large enough to soak the object in it.
Rinse your object well with warm water until the cleaning agent has been completely washed off.
Do make sure to dry the item. Otherwise, you can get water marks on these items.
2. Baking soda method
For darker stains, you can use the baking soda and water method.
Most households have baking soda, as it is used in the food and for cleaning purposes frequently.
Making a paste out of it is the most natural home remedy. Place the baking soda in a plastic container. You can reuse ice-cream containers for this task.
Add enough water to make the paste.
Create a paste of 1:1 water and baking soda ratio and apply it to the item you wish to clean.
Rub the paste in continuous motion on textured areas using a soft microfiber cloth.
This will work great at cleaning those hard to reach areas without any damage.
After that, wash the item with warm water and dry it with a soft lint-free cloth to see the shine.
3. Vinegar method
If your item has calcium deposits commonly known as limescale, then the best way to treat it is to use a vinegar water-based solution.
Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture. Rub the cloth onto the dirty areas.
When the time is up, rinse with warm water and wipe the area dry. You can use a microfiber cloth to do that.
If the simple water and vinegar-based solution don’t work at the first go, then add a tablespoon (15g) of corn starch to the solution and repeat the process.
4. Cornstarch method
To make a cornstarch solution for stubborn stains on your item, mix one part of cornstarch with three parts of water.
Soak a clean soft cloth into the solution and lay in on the stain for about 3 minutes.
Rinse the item with clean water after the waiting time is over. Dry the surface of your wet object with a clean, soft cloth.
5. Using a commercial cleaning agent
Another solution for cleaning German silver, nickel silver, or nickel brass is to use commercial cleaning polish.
If you’ve got a tough stained item, then seek help from a commercial cleaning polish.
Follow the instructions given by the brand to avoid damage to the valuable item.
Remember to wear cleaning gloves before working with these cleaning agents. They can contain chemicals that are irritants to skin.
In case you have contact with it, wash that area off your skin with water.
6. Using polishing cloths
If you don’t feel comfortable working with cleaning liquids, then you can choose polishing cloths.
These are safe to clean nickel silver and are easy to use.
These products are non-toxic, environmentally friendly, and will not harm the metal while removing mild tarnish from nickel silver.
It won’t make any scratches if you use it and will leave a nice shine to your object.
7. Using metal polish
A metal polish will work to give your polished nickel a good shine.
8. Using acetone
Acetone is the active ingredient of nail polish remover.
However, do not use regular nail polish remover to remove stain or glue from your nickel silver object might not help. Because a nail polish remover is not that strong. So, you will be using acetone.
It will easily remove dried glue from your nickel silver object. It quickly softens the glue and makes it easy to come off.
An Easy Way of Cleaning Coins
Use a brass detergent as a standard solution to clean your nickel silver coins.
Just leave your coins in a brass detergent bath for a few minutes. This will eat away at the tarnish from the coins.
The use a soft cloth to polish and dry them, leaving the metal with a beautiful shine to it.
Cleaning Nickel-Plated Jewelry
There’s a way to get your jewelry untarnished and grime-free so that looks as bright as when you first bought it.
As you continue to wear your jewelry, it comes in contact with dust in the air. This makes it gradually look faded.
Use a polishing cloth to make it look as good as new.
You can take care of it yourself to restore a high polish finish to your jewelry.
You can use the above solutions. Jewelry items are delicate, so you cannot rub too hard.
Another way to clean nickel-plated jewelry is to use a brass detergent.
Get a plastic container and fill it with the detergent and water.
Soak the items and dry them with a clean, soft cleaning cloth.
The brass detergent is also useful to clean different types of stains from metal.
If you want to reach some tricky, dirty area, then take a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush that area. That should clean all the dirt.
After cleaning, you must dry your jewelry with a clean, soft cloth and always keep it in a separate box to protect it from getting any scratches.
To sum up, the condition of your nickel silver jewelry, coins, or any other object largely depends on its maintenance and cleaning care.
Taking care of the cleaning process for your nickel silver items will make it last longer and maintain its original shine for a long time.