November cleaning

– Yes, mom, please do it, it would be so fun if we all have a challenge in November!

This was end of October. My daughter was going to do the NaNoWriMo (lots of writing) and my husband the Movember (not so much shaving). I had no challenge in November. I did consider NaBloPoMo for a while, until I realised I wouldn’t have nor time nor focus this month.

With my studio wrapped in plastic and with no challenge, what should I do? How could I channel the itch?

I gathered some old pieces that needed to be polished. I know, we agreed it’s OK to be unpolished, but I want these to shine.

Three of them are necklaces in silver and titanium. While making the one with titanium whirls inside the silver rings, I remember thinking “this one will not be easy to polish”, but I decided to ignore that detail. I had a similar thought about the silver discs in the necklace I call Daily bread.

And now, the day had come to clean. This is where the challenge comes in.

gr-clean-5I like simple methods including household items, so I tried this one with baking soda, vinegar and aluminium foil (video 3:30 minutes). If you want to know what actually happens, it is explained more in detail here as a home experiment (here without vinegar). It is an electrochemical reaction that reverses the silver sulfide (the tarnish) back into silver. I’m not strong in chemistry, but I do love the jargon of the field, whether I understand it or not. So incredibly abstract when explained in words and formulas, yet so very concrete when you see it happen in front of you.

Considering that I was not very precise with the proportions, nor the time, I think the result is good. At least most of the tarnish is now gone. Also, I’m not sure whether the titanium may interfere in this process, does anyone know?

I will definitely explore this method further. For a closer look, see the gallery with images of before and after.

This was just the right size for my November challenge. Check, done. I close this month with satisfaction.

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12 thoughts on “November cleaning

  1. High time I bought some more baking soda G 🙂 I’ve heard of this before but not tried … maybe my things could do with bit of extra sparkle this Christmas 😉

    • Do try it, it’s a nice home chemistry experiment to do, and it seems to work well. I’ll do it again, but will follow the “recipe” more strictly next time. Good luck, and enjoy!

  2. One of my professors back from university days uses this same method to remove excess tarnish from her silver holloware pieces. Your results seem to work well also! I’ve never tried this myself but I think I just may now that I’ve seen both you and she have such successes w/ doing it. Hope your home improvements do not interfere for too much longer w/ your new work! 🙂

  3. I have heard about this, but never tried it. Thank you for sharing the link and for your feedback on the process. I will pass it on!
    And I love your pieces by the way, especially the titanium and silver necklace with the whirls. I hope you can get back to your bench soon and make more of these!

    • I will for sure do this again. I’m not sure I used exactly the proper kind of “baking soda”, those kind of products may differ from one country to another, but that”s something I can explore further.
      And yes, I can access my studio again! The necklaces (and a few other things) have made my mind deviate from the powerline theme, though, so we’ll see what’s next.

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