I wish I had taken a ‘before’ photo of this little keepsake box. I found it on a shelf at the local Salvation Army shop in Stockholm. It was so tarnished it was almost black. I was not sure how clean I could get it, but I paid the $10 and bought it. I loved the little key, the faded plush lining and the worn little ribbon. Someone must have loved the owner, as it has an initial engraved into the top.
The problem with these types of items is that the velvet lining means you cannot soak it in silver cleaner (either the store-bought version, or the home-made one), and it is quite hard to get into all nooks and crannies of the detailing with a polishing cloth. It looked something like this:
To clean it, I used a soft toothbrush dipped into liquid silver cleaner, followed by a careful rinse and a wipe with a cloth. It came up beautifully. The inside silver I cleaned with a cotton bud dipped into liquid cleaner. I am going to do the final buffing with a more heavy duty cleaner, and also attempt to clean the velvet lining.
It came up beautifully, even with a first cursory clean.