Daily Wire Tip Feb. 12: Tumbling Silver Plated Jewelry

By on February 11, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
February 12, 2011


If I tumble silver plated items, will the plating be removed?

-Faye in Middlesbrough, England


From the research I have done, you can successfully tumble polish silver plated items by using the regular rotary tumble method (water, mixed steel shot, and blue Dawn dish detergent) for about 30 minutes, no longer.

The results really depend on how thick the layer of silver plate is. Different manufacturers use a variety of thicknesses. Those items made with a heavy plating will tumble polish successfully. My advice would be to experiment with something simple and inexpensive, like a few jump rings or a few components made of silver plated wire, log your results, and then do your good pieces.

I am sure that some of our readers will also share their experiences in the comments below, so you will have more information to base your experiments on.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Robin Lutsky

    February 12, 2011 at 10:52 am

    If you are making jewelry out of old good silver-plated silverware ie:forks, spoons, this is a good method to use but be careful pick wisely and experiment.

  2. avatar


    February 12, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Thanks Dale – that was most informative! I was pretty worried about it…
    Now, as far as I know, we don’t have Dawn in the UK – sunrise, but not Dawn! LOL!, so will any detergent do? Mild, I’m guessing?
    love Faye

    • avatar


      February 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Hi Faye, the detergent chosen should be one that produces a low amount of suds and has a grease remover. Also, it is very important that the detergent does not have any citrus additives. Glad to help : )

  3. avatar


    February 12, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    In the UK you might check to see what detergent the emergency response teams use to clean oil soaked wildlife. Dawn is the primary item used for this purpose in the US; it’s been tested as the best oil/fat emulsifier ever developed that is safe for extended human and animal contact. You may have the same product under a different name in the UK.
    NOTE: Yes, I have a considerable number of hours of training on hazardous waste management and emergency response.

    • avatar


      February 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      Diane – thanks so much for what you ‘do’, as well as for this helpful advice.

  4. avatar


    March 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Yes, thank you Diane!