Sterling silver jewelry is a beautiful way to accessorize. It is a common staple in most people’s jewelry collections for its brilliance, its luster, and its versatility that allows it to effortlessly mix and match with multiple looks. However, it’s often neglected as long-term, statement pieces and thrown out because of one reality: silver jewelry tarnishes easily. Caring for and cleaning your silver jewelry will improve its look and longevity.
Cleaning Your Silver with Foil
1.Prepare a bowl for your silver to be cleaned in. Heat a cup of water to a boil and while it simmers, line the bottom of the bowl with a layer of aluminum foil, shiny side facing up. Avoid using this method if your sterling is antiquated or includes jewels. Add a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of baking soda to the foil in the bowl.
2. Add half a cup of white vinegar to the salt and baking soda mix. Try to pour the vinegar in slowly to accommodate for the fizz that will happen. Mix everything together until the dry ingredients have completely dissolved.
3.Pour in the boiling water. Allow the water to combine with the mixture. Gently drop your silver jewelry pieces into the bowl one by one.Flip the pieces over periodically with tongs so that both sides of the jewelry are exposed to the foil.
4.Take the pieces carefully out of the bowl. Gently buff the silver with a polishing cloth. Hold it up to the light to see if the tarnish is noticeably gone from the silver.If it is, it’s all cleaned! If not, back to the foil bowl.
Cleaning Your Silver with Toothpaste
Squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto your finger. Any toothpaste can work, but it is recommended to use toothpaste used for tartar control. The extra hydrated silica in those brands help remove tarnish more easily.
Scrub the toothpaste all over the silver piece. A cotton cloth or paper towel can also be used to help massage toothpaste onto silver jewelry surfaces. The tarnish should come off instantly.
Rinse the toothpaste off of the silver. Use warm water to get rid of the toothpaste. If you notice that some tarnish still remains, squeeze more toothpaste onto the silver and give it another rinse. Once it is cleaned to your liking, pat the piece dry.
Preventing Tarnish on Your Silver Jewelry
1.Store your silver when you aren’t wearing it. Exposure to air creates tarnish on silver jewelry. Use a plastic zipper-locked bag to store silver and keep air from hitting it.
Place one piece of silver jewelry into the plastic bag and then close it halfway.
Squeeze the bag so that whatever air remaining in it is released. Seal the remainder of the bag off completely.
Specialized bags from jewelry stores are also amazing alternative containers to prevent tarnish and keep silver clean.
2.Take jewelry off before you shower, swim, or get into a hot tub. All those things contain elements that lead to tarnish on silver jewelry. The chlorine, humidity, and/or moisture should be avoided at all cost since it acts as a demise for the shine and luster of silver jewelry pieces.
3.Abstain from using heavily scented products on your hair and skin. Oils and ingredients from perfume, body lotion, and hairspray can tarnish jewelry. Either keep your products light or don’t wear them at all while you’re wearing your jewelry.