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Another silver dip warning!

For those of you who continue to use silver dips for removing
tarnish, I have some startling news for you: If you submerge or wipe
your silver with these products, micro-etching will occur within FIVE
SECONDS. This etching is so severe that it can only be removed by
machine polishing. That’s just how damaging these dips are!

If you need a refresher regarding the dangers of silver dips, visit
this page:

Jeffrey Herman

Thanks Jeffrey. I just emailed Fred Meyer the local division of
Kroger to request with your link that they remove this product from
their stores. It ticks me off every time I go shopping there and see
this on the shelves.

Jo Haemer

For over 30 years, I have regularly used Tarn-X, and I recommend it
(carefully) to my customers for use on base metal, mainly brass. I
hand out to my customers a summary of advice, “Cleaning Multimetal
Jewelry.” Here’s what I say about Tarn-X:

"4. Dipping multimetal jewelry for a couple of seconds in a
commercial liquid silver cleaner called ‘Tarn-X’ is often the
simplest method. Follow the dipping with a thorough rinsing and
drying. Once dry, buff jewelry with the silver cleaning cloth, if
needed. For regular cleaning, keep a small amount of Tarn-X in a
container with a snug plastic lid; it may be re-used for months.
Pieces with an oxidized finish often will not need dipping; to do so
will gradually remove the patina.

“[Some cautions about using Tarn-X: (a) dipping jewelry will
probably remove any antiquing or oxidized coloring it has; (b) most
harder stones may be safely dipped, but the surface of coral and
lapis lazuli may be dulled by repeated contact with Tarn-X, and
sodalite may turn from blue to purple. Read the Tarn-X label. Do not
EVER ‘soak’ jewelry in Tarn-X.]”

When I chat with customers about buying a base metal ring (copper,
brass, nickel-silver), I say that the best way of keeping it clean
is to wear it through all daily activities, such as doing the
dishes, showering, washing one’s hair, scrubbing the floor, etc.
Then it will probably never need tarnish-removal. I love working in
base metal!

Judy Bjorkman
Owego, NY

Hello Judy,

Because of time, I will only address the silver dip issue with the
test I performed.

The entire sterling sample below (enlarged from original size of
1/2" wide) was highly polished then immersed in Tarn-X for 15
minutes. Notice the right part of the sheet that was immersed and
the micro-etching that resulted. If you submerge or wipe your silver
with these products, micro-etching can occur within only five
seconds. This etching is so severe that it can only be removed by
machine polishing.

The same piece magnified…

Jeff Herman

Hello All,

Tarn X is supposed to be used as a “dip” not immersed for any length
of time, i. e. in and out in one second and dry.

I use this product as a dip for jump rings that have tarnished while
in storage waiting for use.

Tarn X is supposed to be used on small items, not tea pots, coffee
urns, eating utensils, platters, or such. These are supposed to be
cleaned using another method. By small items I mean, jump rings,
chains, ear wires, something that requires just a “dip” to clean for
immediate use or wear.

Taking the product off the market is overkill. Education is the
answer but some people will do what they want when they want.

Most jewelers know how to used or not use this product. The public
has to be taught through the media or read the product instructions.

Veva Bailey

Hi all

Tarn X is toxic wasteland. An Ionic cleaner will do a better safer

All the best

I’m just plain STUNNED! I will no longer get involved with the
silver dip issue because there are way too many metalsmiths in this
group who don’t believe in empirical proof. For those of you who
haven’t read my silver dip page, go back and read it again. Don’t
believe what you’re reading or seeing with your own eyes? Look at
that page again. Still don’t get it? Go back and read that page.

You people are obviously dipping silver and sending it on its way
without understanding what the customer will have to deal with after
it leaves your shop. And by the way, the world’s not flat.


I have some TarnX I would like to dispose. What is safest way to do
it? Sorry if I have missed the post about that.

Beverly Jones

I agree with Richard. I don’t know why anyone would continue to use
this toxic product or recommend it to their clients when a small
ionic cleaner (Speedbrite) is inexpensive, works so well and is safe
for fragile gems. -Carrie Nunes


I understand your concerns on silver dips, but what of polishing
pads like the Sunshine variety? Do they remove tarnish gently? I’ve
thought of sending pieces out with my jewelry, along with information
on use and care.

I just want to make sure the gets disbursed. Even though
as others have said, people will do as they like regardless which way
the wind blows.


Jeffery Herman,

You are wonderful. You have generously shared you vast knowledge
with us for as long as I have been following this site. The old
adage, “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make them
drink” comes to mind.

Until the wrong way bites someone directly on the a$$ (I meant those
dollar signs btw) They will not deviate from the theory they are
right and you are wrong, no matter the data. Some how the magical
beings of jewelry deities have bestowed a pass on their work. Unless
it is a question I had on a physics exam in college data does matter.
The question was, “The Earth just came to a screeching halt, what
happened?” I spent some time and realized that the time was slipping
away for the rest of the questions. That one question was 20% of the
grade. At the end of the timed test, I realized I still had no idea
what it all meant, and what was wanted. We had been studying
electricity and such the past week so I tried to think of an
electrical problem. Nothing. And at 30 seconds out of desperation I
wrote, “Who gives a shit, we’re all dead!” I got half points for my
answer. So unless we are dead, your knowledge stands. The data is
sound and repeatable. So when gazing at the horses not drinking the
water, remember you are actually looking at a bunch of

Aggie the methane processing plant in the land of the mouse

Use it to clean calcium off your faucet fixtures and toilet, that is
if you have hard water where you live. I used it for that and it was
absolutely great.

I agree with Anggie. To quote Richard Bach: “Not being known does
not keep truth from being true.” Chris H.

For Sterling, use Calgon water softener and salt with tinfoil to
remove tarnish.

Non metallic container, tap water, room temp., one cup water,
teaspoon of each salt and powder or liquid water softener, foil on
bottom of container.

As soon as item touches the foil, it is done. Take foil out of
solution when not in use. The foil will dissolve left in. Use over
and over until you need to remake solution.

Will not remove really heavy tarnish.

Used this on a million pieces of Sterling.

Can be used with every gemstone. With Amber, quick dip and rinse.