STERLING SILVER JEWELRY CARE
You can avoid tarnish by wearing your jewelry often. The oils in your skin will “clean” the silver and keep it looking shiny.
AVOID EXPOSURE TO:
- Contact with household chemicals, perspiration, rubber, chlorinated water, or any substances which contain sulfur. These will cause corrosion and tarnish.
- Direct sunlight also causes silver to tarnish, so be sure to take off your silver jewelry before you go swimming and sunbathing.
- Lotions, cosmetics, hair spray/products, and perfumes will accelerate tarnishing.
WHAT TO DO IF SILVER TARNISHES
- Use this homemade gentle cleaner to remove heavy tarnish. Soak the tarnished piece in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tbsp. baking soda (be prepared for the fizzing!) for two to three hours, then rinse and dry.
- Storing silver in airtight plastic bags with anti-tarnish strips is a great preventative measure to tarnish. If you can’t use plastic bags, try to make sure that the storage area has low humidity. You can also place a piece of chalk, a packet of activated charcoal, or a container of silica gel in the storage area to minimize tarnish.
- Silver is a soft metal so do not store multiple jewelry pieces in the same bag.
- Link or chain bracelets should be kept unclasped or unhooked to prevent scratching.
- Simply polishing your silver works well when the tarnishing is not too severe. It’s also the best method for cleaning oxidized silver, as you can stay away from the intentionally tarnished areas.
- Silver is soft and can become scratched easily. You can use a special silver cloth to polish your items, but a lint-free flannel, microfiber, or other soft nonabrasive cloth will do as well.
- Do not use paper towels or tissues to polish your jewelry as they contain fibers that can scratch the silver.
- When polishing, use long back-and-forth motions that mirror the grain of the silver. Do not rub in circles, as this will magnify any tiny scratches.