How to Clean Silver Cufflinks?

Have you noticed that sometimes not that long after buying a brand new set of shiny silver cufflinks, little stains just appeared on it?

We try our best to polish them, but it doesn’t work. And now we’re left wondering how to clean Silver Cufflinks.


Do you relate to the scenario I’ve just described?


If you do, keep reading, we'll explain how to fix it.


Silver cufflinks are a mark of high fashion sense and aesthetics. They help tie our complete outfit together and make us stand out from the crowd. As such, it’s imperative that we should take utmost care of them.


But like most things, silver cufflinks also stain, don’t they?


That’s what brings us here, in an attempt to figure out how to clean silver cufflinks.


However, before we consider how to clean silver cufflinks, we need to consider one vital detail:


How has the silver cufflink been stained?


Silver Cufflinks may stain in a number of different ways, and it’s important to distinguish between them. This will not only help us determine how to clean Silver Cufflinks, but also whether to clean them at all.


Types of Stains on Silver Cufflinks

Silver cufflinks can get stained in a number of different ways. The following are some of the most common.

 1. Dust and Dirt Stains

This is the most common type of stain, and it’s also easiest to get rid of. This only comprises of a film of dust or grime collected on the surface of the silver cufflinks.

 2. Tarnish

Tarnish is a process of gradual corrosion of silver as it comes in contact with all the pollutants and chemicals in the air, specifically with hydrogen sulphide. It’s a brown, grey, or black film that coats the surface of the silver cufflinks, a little like rust.


The rate of tarnishing of silver cufflinks can also increase depending on several factors. These factors include the amount of preparation that the silver is in contact with, perfumes, chemicals in the air, aftershave, shaving gels, shampoos, chlorinated water, car fumes, eggs, onions, amongst many others.


As such, you should keep your silver cufflinks away from all such things that can accelerate the rate of tarnishing.


Tarnish is highly undesirable as it’s difficult to remove and it also has the tendency to rub off on skin and fabric. As such, a tarnished silver cufflink can also damage the shirt you’re wearing, leaving an unsightly mark on it.


3. Patina

Patina is another form of stain that gradually develops on silver cufflinks over time. It has a rich and warm shade and develops naturally through the process of Oxidation.


New silver cufflinks often have the “factory shine” to them. However, over time, you may start to notice fine scratches on the surface. This is impossible to avoid, and over time, the scratches create a kind of finish on the surface of the silver cufflinks. This is a part of the patination process.


In addition to the scratches, the silver cufflinks may also develop dark patterns due to Oxidation. As such, certain parts of the silver cufflinks will seem more shadowy than the rest.


However, a lot of people don’t want to get rid of patination. Why do you think that is?


Unlike tarnishing, patination can actually be highly desirable. In fact, patina is something most people associate with antique pieces of silver. It can greatly increase the value of a silver product and give it character.


Oxidation is so desirable in silver cufflinks that a lot of producers even apply oxidation artificially in a controlled factory-setting.


Later in this article, I’ll show you how to clean silver cufflinks from Oxidation as well. However, you should really consider whether you really want to remove it.


How to clean Silver Cufflinks from Dust and Grime?

There are a lot of different methods of cleaning silver cufflinks. In this part of the article, I’ll show you how to clean silver cufflinks based on the type of stain you want to remove.


Dust and grime are extremely easy to get off. First, you should simply try to polish it with a piece of fabric. If the grime is harder to get off, you can use a dishwashing soap or a toothpaste.


You can apply it on an old toothbrush and scrub at the surface of the silver cufflinks. This should leave your silver cufflinks all shiny again.


How to clean Silver Cufflinks that are Tarnished?

There are a number of different solutions when it comes to removing tarnishing from silver cufflink. This depends on how strong the tarnish has set in, whether it has oxidized, and whether the silver cufflinks have any gems, pearls, etc, on them.


Light Tarnished Silver Cufflinks

If you want to get rid of light tarnishing, you should simply try to use a soft polishing cloth.


Heavy Tarnished Silver Cufflinks without Pearls, Gems, or Oxidation

The following process should only be used if your silver cufflinks are plain and don’t come with gemstones, pearls, or patination.


If the silver cufflinks have been tarnished heavily, you can use a commercial jewelry cleaning solution. These can be found in a number of stores that deal with cleaning supplies. However, you should follow the instructions very carefully.


The process generally entails dipping the silver cufflinks in the solution for a certain period of time. Following that, you can rinse the solution off with water, and polish it with a piece of dry fabric.


If the tarnish remains, simply repeat the process — Dip, Rinse, Dry, Repeat.


Heavy Tarnished Silver Cufflinks with Pearls, Gems, or Oxidation

If your silver cufflinks come with gemstones, pearls, etc, you shouldn’t use the cleaning solution. Additionally, if your silver cufflinks have developed oxidation that you don’t want to get rid off, you shouldn’t use the solution.


In this case, you need the following items: Baking Soda, Aluminum Foil, and Glass Container.


The following steps will show you how to clean silver cufflinks that have been tarnished. But before we begin, one word of warning, make sure there’s no steel in your silver cufflinks.

1. Use the aluminum foil to line the glass container. Place your silver cufflinks into the container, making sure they’re placed over the aluminum and that they don’t overlap.

2. Now dust some of the baking soda over the silver cufflinks.

3. Boil some water and pour it over the baking soda and silver cufflinks. Allow them to soak in the boiling water for 10 seconds.

4. After the 10 seconds are up, rinse the silver cufflinks in some warm water. Do not use cold water as the sudden temperature difference may damage any gems or pearls.

5. You’ll notice that the tarnish would have moved on from your silver cufflinks to the aluminum foil below it.

6. If you still have some tarnish left over, repeat the process.


This will completely remove all the tarnish from your silver cufflinks and not damage it at all.


How to clean Silver Cufflinks that are Patinated?

You can remove patina from silver cufflinks by scrubbing it gently with a paste of baking soda and water.


You can also use toothpaste and dishwater soap to clean the silver cufflinks, as that will also get rid of some of the oxidation.


However, as we mentioned earlier, patina can be quite valuable. It can increase the general aesthetics and the value of your silver cufflinks.


So do you really want to get rid of patina from silver cufflinks? You better think twice about it.



If you’ve read this complete article, you now probably have a good understanding of the types of stains that can catch on silver cufflinks.


In this article, I’ve given you a detailed outline of how to clean silver cufflinks. I’ve shown you how to clean silver cufflinks when they’re tarnished, patinated, or simply dirty.


When it comes to tarnished silver cufflinks, there’s a different method for cufflinks with or without pearls and gems. Make sure you use the correct procedure to avoid damaging the gems.


However, you should make sure that you don’t allow your silver cufflinks to tarnish at all. As such, keep them dry and make sure the storage doesn’t have any chemicals that can react with the silver.


With that, you’ve successfully learned how to clean silver cufflinks!