Jewellery can bring so much joy to our lives. We’ve all had that feeling when the dazzling sparkle glimmers against the light, and you immediately have to have it and wear it. Whether it’s a gift from a loved one or something you treat yourself to, jewellery – sterling silver in particular – is something that you can enjoy every day for a very long time, if cared for properly.
If you have a piece of sterling silver jewellery that you cherish, you may not want to wear it every day, to keep it safe, secure and away from any potential damage. However many of us make the mistake in thinking that by doing so, our silver will stay shiny and stunning as the day we first received it. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and if left too long, tarnish can take its toll, leaving your once stunning silver looking dull and dim.
No need to worry though, as the team at Silver Sale have provided a short guide to getting rid of that ghastly tarnish, to bring your sterling silver jewellery back to life and keep it looking amazing.
How does your sterling silver tarnish when stored away?
If and when you store your silver jewellery away and leave it a while before choosing to wear it again, it can often fall victim to oxygen and sulfur in the air. They can join together and latch on to your jewellery, creating a dark appearance, taking the shine away from your precious earrings, necklace, rings and bracelets.
Top Tip – Thanks to our bodies and its natural oils, your sterling silver is more likely to stay gorgeously sparkling, the more often you wear it, so don’t be afraid to show it off!
How to clean your silver and maintain it
Cleaning the tarnish away from your jewellery is so simple, particularly if it’s only showing slight signs of it. Here are a few ways in which you can clean your jewellery to get it back to looking brand spanking new.
For slight tarnishes, using a specialist silver polishing cloth will work wonders. They are available in plenty of jewellery stores and online, and don’t cost a lot either. Simply polish your jewellery in a motion that follows the grain of your jewellery. Be warned that polishing in a circular motions can damage the overall appearance of your jewellery, as can using paper towels or tissues to do the job.
If your jewellery has some oxidation as part of the actual style or pattern, a polishing cloth is the best way to clean it, as it won’t take away any of the darker pattern in the nooks or the jewellery.
If you have left your jewellery in the shadows of a jewellery box for quite some time, chances are it’s slightly more tarnished than a polishing cloth can handle. In these cases, a shop bought or homemade silver cleaning solution is your best bet for getting it back to its amazing original self. For homemade remedies, try warm soapy water to begin with, but if that’s no use, consider trying out a few of these, instead:
- A combination of olive oil and lemon juice, rubbed onto your silver using a polishing cloth
- Soaking your jewellery in a solution of white vinegar and baking soda, then drying off and polishing
- Create a paste of baking soda and a few drops of water, then rub onto your sterling silver and clean off
You should always run your jewellery under clean running water after trying out each of these methods. Don’t forget to dry it thoroughly, too.
Some things to remember to keep your sterling silver amazing
We’ve already talked about being careful with oxidised sterling silver pieces of jewellery, to make sure that the original design or pattern isn’t lost, but there are a couple of other things to consider too, when it comes to cleaning your jewellery.
Try to take your jewellery off when cleaning, cooking, exercising and showering, as well as sunbathing (when the weather is glorious). If you’re getting ready for work or a night on the town, leave adding your jewellery to your outfit until last, so that body lotions and sprays don’t attack it.
Top Tip – .950 sterling tends to become tarnished and damaged easier than .925, as it is purer and slightly weaker.
If you absolutely must store away your jewellery for a while, put it in a sealed plastic bag, before storing in a jewellery box. That way, the oxygen and sulphur in the air is less able to reach it.