Hello Bling Lovers,
I am excited. I actually successfully cleaned a vintage sterling silver mesh evening bag. I was trying to figure out how to safely remove tarnish. As I described in an earlier post, I cleaned a sterling drawstring purse using jewelry cleaner and an ultrasonic cleaning machine. It did little to remove the tarnish although the purse looked better clean. I ended up using silver polish in a paste and the result was acceptable. The process was long and difficult.
As I was researching how best to clean antique and vintage sterling purses I asked a web-store owner how she got the vintage purse, she was selling, so shiny and clean. The store owner told me she took her purse to her local jeweler and they cleaned it. I visited my local jeweler. She is a lovely person, and extremely helpful. I asked her about cleaning my purse. She said she could do it for me but …. she said she would clean it by dipping the sterling into Tarn-X. Wow, I thought Tarn-X damaged items and made them dull. No, not if you use Tarn-X correctly.
To clean your sterling you dip the item into the Tarn-X and do NOT leave it. If it is going to work it will do so immediately. Then RINSE, RINSE, and RINSE. That is the secret. Do not soak the item in Tarn-X and immediately rinse and rinse in water.
I tried this today and I am quite happy with the result. When the purse was clean I was able to read the mark, Alpaca. Alpaca, by Rodi & Weinenberger purses were made by a German Company in the Pforzheim region. Take a look. I took a picture of the clean purse and one of another antique mesh purse I have. You can shop for these purses and other vintage items at berniesvintage.com. The second purse is not cleaned. It is a good example of the way my cleaned purse looked when I started. You may like patina but this purse was simply dirty. I prefer the new look. What do you think?