FAQ: Best Polishing Cloths?

I've tried a few different types of silver polishing cloths over the years, with different results for each. Here is my opinion of some of the different options. Like with most tools of the trade, the key is to choose the right tool for the job:

1) Sunshine Polishing cloth - by far my favorite product, Sunshine Polishing cloths are a small square of yellow fabric material that is infused with microabrasives. The cloth itself feels slightly tacky to the touch, and will blacken as you use it. The cloth holds up well to use and is very durable. The abrasives in the cloth are indeed micro -- the cloth removes tarnish *and* polishes, without removing or scratching silver surfaces. I find these gentle enough to clean 14k gold-filled and vermeil items as well (use carefully!).

You may purchase a Sunshine Polishing cloth from my website.

2) Rouge cloth - this style of polishing cloth comes with two sheets that are connected together on one end. One side is red, representing the "red rouge" side that contains the microabrasives for cleaning and polishing. The yellow side is meant to be used after the cleaning for a final high shine polish. I find that the red cloth side is not the best cleaning cloth, that the abrasives don't last long in the fabric. However, the yellow side does bring out a nice shine to the item with some buffing.

3) Pro-Polish pads - this is a favorite of a lot of folks, they come in small squares so you only need to use as much as you need at any time. Be careful, as one side of the pad has the harsher abrasives that can scratch surfaces (for a slightly matte finish). I like using these for heavier-duty jobs, such as polishing items to remove excess oxidation or to smooth out scratches on items. Some cons for this product is that you *can not* get it wet or it turns into a goo, so use only with dry pieces. The other thing I noticed is that they dry out over time, leaving the spongy pads brittle and the abrasives powdery. Keep stored in a nice ziplock bag to help prevent dry outs.

There it is! The cloth I always keep handy are Sunshine Polishing cloths (for quick clean and polish) and Pro-Pads (for heavy duty work). For even heavier work, I will sometimes use microfine abrasive papers before doing a final polish with cloth. For tarnish in hard-to-reach spots, check out this nifty trick to remove tarnish with aluminum foil.

Do you have a favorite polishing/cleaning product for your metals?



h said...

I love the sunshine cloth I got from you and wondered how it worked, thanks for writing this! I even use it on my wedding ring which is platinum.

Andrew Thornton said...

I've got a deep love for the Pro Pads. I should write a love letter to whoever invented them.