A spot of rust can instantly turn a favorite necklace into trash. But, rust is not an impenetrable foe. Removing the corrosion can restore your golden necklace, reveal the lustrous costume jewelry lurking beneath the tarnished veneer and save you from the disappointment of trashing your treasured faux jewels.
Place the necklace into a bowl. Position the necklace so that only the rusted portion is in the bowl if the rust does not cover a substantial section of the metal.
Sprinkle salt on the rusted metal. Many of the granules will roll off the surface into the bottom of the bowl, which is fine.
Pour lemon juice into the bowl until all of the rusted metal is submerged. You do not need to submerge any metal that has not rusted, but it is safe if you do.
Soak the necklace overnight.
Lay an old towel on your work surface.
Remove the necklace from the bowl and place it on the towel.
Rub the rusted metal with a cotton swab to remove the rust. Replace the cotton swab with a soft cloth if you need a more abrasive scrubbing tool or if the rust is snagging the fibers of the swab. Rub the metal gently so that you do not chip off the golden coating on the necklace.
Use a very soft-bristled toothbrush to remove stubborn rust spots or to reach rust in the fine crevices of the necklace.
Rinse the necklace in warm water to remove the lemon juice.
Pat the necklace dry with a towel. Hold the necklace under a hair dryer set to the lowest heat setting, if you are concerned that it is not sufficiently dry. Excess moisture will cause the necklace to rust again.
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- Cover your work surface with a clean towel you do not mind staining. Allowing lemon juice to sit on the fabric may cause discoloration.
Grace Riley has been a writer and photographer since 2005, with work appearing in magazines and newspapers such as the "Arkansas Democrat-Gazette." She has also worked as a school teacher and in public relations and polling analysis for political campaigns. Riley holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in American studies, political science and history, all from the University of Arkansas.
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