How to clean and maintain Silver filigree Jewelry

Cleaning and caring of your Silver Filigree Jewellery and Artefact

Since most filigree jewellery is delicate, the primary care to be taken is to handle your jewellery with the care it deserves.

Silver filigree work is created from beaten silver which is then drawn into wires and foils and handcrafted into beautiful and intricate designs. This renders the jewellery pieces delicate and as a proud owner of this beauteous artefact, we are sure you would like to take proper care of it!

While they can and should be used as daily wear articles, avoid wearing them when performing household chores and while showering/ hand-washing. Despite taking all precautions, over a period of time, the jewellery pieces do lose some of their shine and lustre. It is due to continuous usage as well as exposure to atmospheric elements. It is natural for pure silver to turn black (oxidized) after coming in contact with air.

For silver filigree items, cleaning and restoring their lustre is a relatively simple affair! If you have local jewellers who deal in filigree items, you may approach them for cleaning your jewellery. They normally put the jewellery pieces in a vibrator machine which separates the dirt from the jewellery pieces using the vibration technique. However, for cleaning the jewellery pieces at home, follow these simple technics below:

  1. First, take your jewellery pieces and gently wipe them with a soft cloth. Use a soft paintbrush for the crevices.
  2. Thereafter, just soak the jewellery pieces in a solution of mild detergent (like surf) and lukewarm water. You could alternately soak them in a hand sanitiser solution. Add salt for better result.
  3. Leave the jewellery to soak for 15-20 minutes. If the jewellery pieces are too black with oxidization, you may consider boiling the solution for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Rinse them in lukewarm water (running water preferably) and check for the lustre. You can repeat the soaking and rinsing steps one more time if you feel the lustre is still not restored to original levels.
  5. Pat down the jewellery with a paper towel or a soft cotton cloth.
  6. You can then use a jeweller’s polishing cloth to rub and wipe clean the jewellery.
  7. Do ensure that you store the jewellery in a covered box with a soft muslin cloth cover or in a plastic zip-lock packet.
  8. For other types of silver artefacts (cups, plates etc. with a relatively plain surface; with no intricate filigree work done), you may consider Colgate tooth powder for cleaning and polishing.

As always, in all of the above steps, please do exercise abundant caution and gentleness as your silver filigree jewellery is an object of delicate yet delectable beauty!

2 thoughts on “How to clean and maintain Silver filigree Jewelry”

  1. Hello . I need your advice on how to clean silver filigree . I recently bought a chinese antique silver filigree tea caddy. Unfortunately someone try to polish it before with a polish paste and now it has white dry paste inside delicate areas and imposible to reach these filigree areas. Washing did not help. How can I remove that dry paste from this delicate antique silver filigree. Thanks in advance, best regards

    1. Dear Sonmez, Please follow step 2 above. Add some soft detergent and salt in a bowl of water and put your silver artefact in it. You may put the bowl over flame and heat it for 3 to 4 mins till the water is hot. Then remove the bowl from the flame and leave it like that for sometime. It should remove the paste from inside. You may use an old toothbrush to gently clean the area. Hope it helps.

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