How to Clean Silver with Toothpaste

Clean silver

I’m sure not everyone has as much silver jewellery as I do – I have HEAPS, because I’ve always preferred it to gold (yellow gold just looks terrible against my skin).

This is how I clean my silver jewellery when it gets tarnished. The worse your jewellery looks, the longer this will take, but I do mine about once a year and it only takes a few minutes a piece that way. The first time I cleaned the bracelet in the before & after picture, it hadn’t been out of its box in 30+ years, and it took about an hour of scrubbing to get it cleaned up.

PLEASE NOTE: This tutorial is only suitable for SOLID STERLING SILVER jewellery. 
If your jewellery items are plated, or it is costume jewellery, there is a very real possibility that this will scrub off the plating and leave you with weirdly coloured jewellery that is DEFINITELY not silver.

You can tell if an item is sterling silver by the stamp – sterling silver is stamped “92.5” (meaning 92.5% silver content). Other stamps you may see – gold is also often stamped as 9ct, 18ct, or 22ct. The stamps aren’t always clear and defined, and if the jewellery is old or well-worn, it can be almost impossible to read, so look carefully. If in doubt, talk to a jeweller.

Showing the 92.5 stamp on a ring

Showing the 92.5 stamp on a ring


What you’ll need

  • old toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • 2 bowls of warm water
  • small towel


  1. Squirt out a pea-sized blob of toothpaste onto the edge of one bowl. This bowl will be your “initial rinse” bowl, for getting the worst of the suds off.
  2. Dampen the toothbrush, get a little toothpaste onto it and scrub the item of jewellery in small circular motions until the whole thing is covered in toothpaste lather. Leave for a minute, then scrub again.
  3. Rinse item in “initial rinse” bowl, then put into other bowl of water and leave it there.
  4. Rinse and repeat (hahaha I am so punny) with all items of jewellery to be cleaned.
  5. Once all items have been cleaned and rinsed, remove from soaking and lay out on a towel. If the weather is particularly cold or damp, use a hairdryer on the lowest heat setting to help it along.

I have had little success with getting fine chains properly shiny using this method, but they do clean up from black to obviously silver in colour.


How to fix a split nail

Today, I’m going to show you how to fix a split nail. The sort where it splits all the way down into the nail bed, so you can’t just cut/rip it off. (The pictures are of my thumb nail, which I sliced the other day – see this post for the story!)

Allow AT LEAST 45mins to complete this – you will want to make sure that the polish is completely dry after you are finished, so that you don’t undo all the work.

You will need:

  • A tissue
  • A nail file
  • Clear nail polish (I use the one shown in the image because it dries quickly and gives a good, strong finish. Any clear polish will do)


Step 1:
Lightly file/buff your nail, to give a slightly rough surface. This will help the nail polish and tissue stick.


Step 2:
Tissues are usually plied – separate the ply. You will only need 1 of the sheets.

IMG_2110.JPG Once you’ve done that, rip off a few small pieces (make sure they are big enough to cover the split area of your nail, with some to spare).


Step 3:
Paint a layer of polish on the whole nail, then stick on a piece of tissue while it is still wet. Wiggle it around a bit to get it in the right position, and gently dab down any sections that aren’t fully wet with the nail polish (you will want to get most of the polish off the brush first, so that it isn’t dripping or you’ll make a huge mess). Don’t worry if bits of tissue stick off the end of your nail, we’ll fix that at the end.


Step 4:
Repeat Step 3 until you have 3 layers of tissue on your nail. Allow each layer of polish/tissue to dry to tacky before doing the next one. Allow nail to dry COMPLETELY before proceeding to Step 5.


Step 5:
Make sure the polish is completely dry, then gently file back the bits of tissue sticking off the end of the nail. If the polish isn’t completely dry when you do this, you run the risk of the tissue lifting off your nail.


Step 6:
Paint one final layer of polish onto the nail, and make sure you seal the tip by running the brush around the edge. This helps stop the polish from lifting/chipping at the tip. Allow to dry completely before touching anything!


I usually allow at least 30mins at the end of this to let the polish dry all the way (even though it’s “quick dry”), because I somehow manage to smudge it otherwise.

This generally lasts at least 2 days – 1 week, depending on what kind of work I’m doing. If I’m cleaning or doing other “manual labour” sort of things, it will generally last about 2 days before it begins to chip/peel. If I’m just studying/on my computer, it can last up to a week.

You’ll need to keep doing this until the nail grows out far enough that you can remove the cracked section.