How to Clean a Silver Pendant with Black Engraving

Anna asked: How do I clean a silver pendant that has a lot of black engraving without removing the color from the engraving? I have a nice silver pendant that I didn’t wear for a couple of years. How can I clean it without taking it to a professional?


Silver is a soft metal that can be easily scratched with hands-on or aggressive cleaning tactics. As a result, the ideal way to clean it is with a dip or a bath, but if you want to ensure the color stays in the engraving, a bath is not the best option. The other option is a polishing cloth, but a heavily tarnished piece is not likely to stand up to the amount of rubbing required to remove black stains without damage. That said, you’ll have to weigh your options before you proceed. If you opt for the polishing cloth, here’s what to do.

You Will Need:

  • Silver Polishing Cloth

Steps to Remove the Marks:

  1. Begin cleaning the surface of the silver with the polishing cloth.
  2. When an area of the cloth gets soiled, switch to a clean spot.
  3. Continue until the entire piece is clean.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Look for a cloth that leaves behind an anti-tarnish treatment to offer additional protection.
  • A jeweler may be willing to offer more specific advice after inspecting your silver piece.

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