Q:

How do you remove verdigris?

A:

To clean verdigris off of jewelry, use toothpaste and a variety of small applicators that remove this corrosive crud. Proceeding with care and brushing in the same direction as the lines in the metal keeps you from harming the surface of your precious items.

  1. Scrape off as much verdigris as possible

    Use a small toothpick, straight pin or other scrap jewelry pieces to wipe off as much verdigris as possible. Avoid touching the metal surface of the jewelry directly with your tool, so you do not abrade the metal itself.

  2. Apply the toothpaste

    Put toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles, and brush the toothpaste in the same path as the lines on the metal. Wipe the toothpaste off with damp cotton swabs and scraps of cotton fabric.

  3. Dry the pieces, and store

    Dab the jewelry gently with a clean cotton rag and store each piece in its own plastic bag. Seal the plastic bag securely to minimize exposure to the humidity that leads to verdigris in the first place. Store pieces with natural pearl inside velvet bags to minimize exposure to light. Store in a cool, dry place to slow the process of verdigris formation in the future.

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