How to Clean Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver?

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Rhodium-plated sterling silver is a type of sterling silver that requires special care. It’s lovely, but if it’s not properly cared for, it’ll need a new coat sooner than expected. Here are some cleaning tips for rhodium-plated sterling silver to keep it looking like new.

How to Clean Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver?

Soaking, rinsing, drying, and storing the piece of rhodium-plated sterling silver are the four major steps in cleaning it. When it comes to materials, you only need water that is not under high pressure, some mild detergent, and a soft cloth.

Sterling silver necklace on white background

Rhodium is a platinum group precious metal. If not properly cared for, it will fade over time. It is much more expensive than gold. It is critical to keep it clean to keep the rhodium-plated sterling silver’s value.

What Are Sterling Silver and Rhodium Plate?

Sterling silver is a silver alloy composed of 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5% copper or another metal. Sterling silver is distinguished by the hallmark stamp “925,” which represents 92.5 percent silver content.

You’re probably wondering why rhodium plating is used. Rhodium is a silvery-white rare earth metal that belongs to the platinum group. Because of its hardness, endurance, and natural radiance, the metal has grown in popularity in the rhodium-plated sterling silver industry.

The most intriguing property of rhodium is that it does not corrode, oxidizes when exposed to air, and does not tarnish. It is applied to rhodium-plated sterling silver to improve its durability, brilliance, and light reflection.

Furthermore, due to the strength of rhodium, rhodium-plated sterling silver is more scratch-resistant.

What Do You Need to Clean Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver?

The most intriguing property of rhodium is that it does not corrode. When exposed to air, it does not oxidize and does not tarnish. It is applied to rhodium-plated sterling silver to improve its durability, brilliance, and light reflection.

Furthermore, due to the strength of rhodium, rhodium-plated sterling silver is more scratch-resistant.

  • Two bowls
  • Mild detergent
  • A soft towel or a microfiber cloth
  • A soft polishing cloth, although this is optional

To save time, consider cleaning multiple rhodium-plated sterling silver pieces at once. Also, if you choose to use a microfiber cloth, make certain that it has not been chemically treated.

The goal is to avoid using anything abrasive or chemical on your rhodium-plated sterling silver. This soft towel or cloth is also useful for cleaning wrought iron furniture.

What Do You Need to Avoid While Cleaning Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver?

Before you begin cleaning your rhodium-plated sterling silver rhodium-plated sterling silver, let’s go over the cleaning agents you should avoid using on your rhodium-plated sterling silver.

  • Harsh chemicals
  • Silver dips
  • Any abrasive
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Ammonia-based chemicals
  • Polishing cloths for silver or gold

Harsh chemicals should never be used on sterling silver or rhodium-plated sterling silver. Although rhodium plating is scratch-resistant, you don’t want to ruin it by using inappropriate materials. Zinc is not necessary to use harsh chemicals to clean as well.

While toothbrushes or toothpaste is not recommended for sterling silver, cleaning the safety razor will be helpful to get rid of rust by using a decent amount of toothpaste.

Furthermore, avoid using any chemicals meant for cleaning rhodium-plated sterling silver or sonic-cleaning equipment. The majority of sonic equipment bounces the rhodium-plated sterling silver hence causing damage.

Rhodium plated sterling silver ring with gemstone

Cleaning Your Rhodium-Plated Silver

The best method to safeguard and extend the life of your rhodium-plated silver is to keep it clean. Let us begin cleaning now that you have your supplies and jewels ready.

If you’re unfamiliar with the steps, simply take it slowly so you don’t inadvertently damage anything. You’ll get used to the cleaning process, and your rhodium-plated sterling silver will shine brighter as a result.

1. Soak the Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver in a Cleaning Agent

Combine a third cup of a gentle liquid detergent and one cup of warm water in a mixing dish. Then, dip the rhodium-plated goods in the mixture for a few minutes to remove any dirt lodged on the surface. 

Allow the objects to soak in the foamy water for at least 10 minutes, but not more than fifteen minutes. Consider using a timer because the time includes cleaning time, and any extra time might result in harm.

Carefully massage all of the materials inside the bowl with your fingertips. As previously stated, do not use toothbrushes or other abrasive objects. Rhodium does not tarnish; thus, your fingertips will be fine.

2. Rinse off Your Soaked Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver

Fill a sink bowl with water by tightly fitting a sink stopper over the drain and pouring warm water through it. Do not use it if you are connected to a hard water source. It will leave stains on your rhodium-plated sterling silver, just like it did on your shower door.

Instead, use distilled or bottled water. Rinse the rhodium-plated sterling silver under your preferred water source to remove all of the bubbly water. You could also use a second bowl filled with tap water, and you can refill the bowl as many times as you like as long as you use room temperature water.

The most important thing in this step is to remove all of the soap residues, and whether your rinse water appears soapy or clear is a good sign. Be gentle throughout the rinsing process to avoid damaging the rhodium plating on your sterling silver.

3. Dry the Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver

To dry your rhodium-plated sterling silver, place it on a soft, clean towel or microfiber cloth. It’s important to note that the softer the towel, the better, so use one made of Egyptian cotton.

After that, gently pat it to remove any excess moisture from the object. Because friction causes plating to fall off, the softer you are, the longer the rhodium plating will last.

If you don’t have a hairdryer, let the rhodium-plated sterling silver air-dry all night.

4. Store the Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver

Use tissue paper to store the rhodium-plated sterling silver. If you have several pieces, wrap each one separately on a piece of paper. The tissue protects the rhodium-plated sterling silver from being scratched by grinding against anything.

If you don’t have a rhodium-plated sterling silver box, store your silver in the box it came in a zip-lock bag, or an airtight container. Add any silica gel packs you have on hand, which can be found in shoe boxes and vitamin jars.

Silica gel packs are called desiccants because they absorb moisture, which helps to prevent and reduce tarnish.

Rhodium plated sterling silver with gemstone

Tips for Caring for Your Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver

  • Wearing sterling silver or rhodium-plated sterling silver in water is usually discouraged because chlorine can corrode your rhodium-plated sterling silver in a short period.
  • Whenever possible, avoid contact with shampoos, fragrances, and deodorants. Furthermore, we recommend removing rhodium-plated sterling silver jewelry before going to bed and when performing strenuous activities such as gardening or cleaning.
  • Avoid touching the rhodium coating on your ring. Washing your hands frequently, for example, may cause them to wear off faster.
  • Pushing or moving a pendant down a chain, for example, can strain and weaken the chain over time.
  • When cleaning your rhodium-plated sterling silver, avoid scrubbing it too hard and be gentle. These methods will keep your rhodium-plated sterling silver looking as new as possible for as long as possible.
  • Polishing is optional, but if necessary, use a polishing cloth to give the rhodium-plated sterling silver a gleaming appearance. Remember to polish with the grain rather than against it.
  • If you are still unsure about how to properly clean your rhodium-plated piece, especially if it contains a diamond or ruby, seek professional assistance. Damage to rhodium-plated sterling silver is relatively easy, and you don’t want to lose all of your money in an instant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Jewelry Cleaner on Rhodium Plated?

No, because the strong chemicals in regular rhodium-plated sterling silver cleaners can damage the plating, you should never use them on it. To prevent tarnishing, clean your rhodium-plated sterling silver with warm water and mild liquid soap. Dry quickly after using a light polishing cloth. Moreover, polishing is also helpful in other materials like cleaning nickel silver. It can use to remove dirt immediately.

How Long Should You Leave Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver in Soapy Water?

For ten minutes, soak your rhodium-plated sterling silver in soapy water. To prevent rusting and tarnishing, do not leave it for more than 15 minutes. Consider using a timer because too much time can be harmful to your product.

Conclusion

Rhodium-plated sterling silver is simple to care for as long as you follow the proper maintenance instructions. Remember to avoid harsh chemicals while cleaning your rhodium-plated sterling silver, don’t rub it too hard, and be careful. These measures will ensure that your rhodium-plated sterling silver’s quality is well-maintained.