Sterling Silver Jewellery and Its Dirty Little Secrets - How To Keep Your Silver Jewellery Sparkling For Longer
Sterling silver jewellery is adorned for its luster, brilliance and versatility. It is popular for any jewellery collection. However, sometimes sterling silver can be frustrating especially when it begins to tarnish because of the contact between silver and oxygen. Your silver jewellery then becomes prone to fading and quickly looking old. It begins to appear dirty and discolored. Fortunately, it is possible to reverse the effects of tarnishing on your sterling silver jewellery and leave them looking brand new.
It is important to understand a few facts about your silver jewellery. .950 sterling silver is purer than .925 sterling silver. This means that the former will bend easily and tarnish quicker than the latter because of its increased purity. Therefore, take more care when handling .950 silver jewellery. Furthermore, silversmiths can allow partial oxidization to darken silver jewellery in order to give them more character. Excessive cleaning and polishing destroys the details of such silver pieces.
Here are 4 simple ways to make your sterling silver look brand new
1. Preventive Care
Wearing your jewellery more often keeps from them from tarnishing. The oils on your skin will help to clean the silver! Hence, constant wear will create a beautiful, shiny look on your silver.
Avoid contact of your jewellery with household chemicals,, perspiration or any items containing sulfur which may cause it to tarnish. Take off your jewellery when doing house chores, swimming or sunbathing. Store your silver jewellery in airtight plastic bags with anti-tarnish strips and do not store silver jewellery with other pieces in the same bag.
It is important to polish your silver jewellery before the tarnishing becomes too severe. This polishing should be done using a special silver cloth, a lint-free flannel or non-abrasive clothing. Do not use paper towels or tissues to polish. These contain harsh fibers that scratch the silver.
Polish in long back-and-forth motions that mirror the grain of the silver. Rubbing in circles magnifies tiny scratches. As you polish, change the direction of your cloth. This keeps you from returning the tarnish on your jewellery.
3. Homemade Silver Cleaner
When polishing does not do the trick, you can purchase a silver cleaner. If you’d prefer to do it yourself, you can actually use self-made silver cleaners using kitchen items! After using the cleaner, thoroughly rinse the jewellery with water and dry the pieces with a microfiber.
Some simple silver cleaners include:
- ammonia and phosphate free soap and water
- baking soda or non-whitening toothpaste and water
- olive oil and lemon juice
- white vinegar and baking soda
- baking soda, salt, aluminum foil and boiling water
Silver cleaners should not be used on pearls, opaque gemstones (turquoise, opal, carnelian, onyx) and clear gemstones (blue topaz, amethyst, and garnet).
4. Professional Care
Sometimes homemade silver cleaners may not produce the desired results. Furthermore, in cases of old and fragile silver jewelry pieces, it is better to use professional cleaning services. It will save you time and restore your jewellery to its original shine when you are unable to do so.
Silver jewellery can be enjoyed for a long time. Moreover, it is valuable. Don’t wait for the tarnish to become worse. Take measures and steps mentioned above to give your silver jewellery a fresh start.
At The Family Jewels, we provide professional jewellery cleaning and repairs. Contact us to discuss your needs. We are always happy to help you get your jewellery looking the way it should.