Jewellery Care Guide
Silver jewellery is durable, timeless, and always in style. Anyone who loves their jewellery knows that it is not immune to the elements and requires special care to keep it tarnish-free for as long as possible and looking its best. Silver jewellery is made to last and it’s best to give your precious silver items the care it deserves through regular cleaning, cloth polishing, proper storage and maintenance. This guide will ensure your jewellery stays shiny and sparkling for years to come!
How to Prevent Tarnishing
So what exactly causes silver to become dull and lose its sparkle? The natural chemical process that causes tarnishing is caused by sulphur which is found all around us in our daily environment. Sulphur molecules react with silver and create a chemical response which causes jewellery to look dull and brownish instead of shiny and vibrant. Sulphur is most commonly found in the air so it’s impossible to completely prevent silver from being exposed to sulphur whilst wearing it. It is especially prone to tarnishing if it comes into contact with harsh chemicals, chlorine in water, direct sun light or salt. If you live in a very hot or humid climate, you’ll have to invest extra effort into ensuring that your silver is well cared for.
DIY’s Not to Try!
There are so many tips and tricks for cleaning your jewellery that might pay off in the short term, but can actually make your silver even more prone to tarnishing. Keep these pointers in mind next time you want to clean your jewellery at home:
Don’t Over-Clean Your Jewellery
A gentle polish with a silver cloth before and after wearing your jewellery is all it takes to keep your jewellery well-maintained.
Not All Jewellery Cleaners Should Be Used For Silver
Cleaners, polishes or dips can actually be too harsh for delicate silver jewellery pieces and although it might make the items look sparkly initially but could actually cause the pieces to tarnish quicker in the future.
Toothpaste is Never a Good Option!
Toothpaste contains a variety of chemicals that could erode your jewellery and cause tarnishing and micro-scratches. It’s best to avoid toothpaste completely for silver cleaning.
Prevention is Key
When it comes to caring for and maintaining your treasured silver jewellery items, prevention is the best defence against damage and tarnishing. Having a great maintenance and cleaning strategy in place will ensure your pieces stand the test of time and look sparkling for years to come.
Since sulphur is present in the air and silver is especially vulnerable to sulphur particles, the number one prevention strategy is to store your silver items in an area that prevents air exposure to the silver. Airtight containers and polyethylene plastic sealed bags will do wonders for keeping your silver sulphur free and fabulous. Instead of taking off your jewellery and placing it on a dresser or display stand, always put it away in its airtight storage place to ensure it stays looking its best. Also avoid storing multiple items together since they can scratch and wear at each other which will also cause your silver to lose its lustre.
Keep out of the Sun
Since direct sunlight, heat or humidity is a silver-shine killer refrain from letting your jewellery sit in the sun or be out in the heat for too long. If you’re going outside somewhere like the beach, leave the jewellery at home or slip it into an airtight bag and keep it out of the sun for the day.
Avoid Sulphur Contact at All Costs
Sulphur is the number one reason that silver tarnishes so it’s best to avoid any items that contain sulphur from coming into contact with your silver. In your kitchen, keep silver away from eggs, onions and mustard, since those items contain large amounts of sulphur. Keep your silver jewellery away from polyvinyl plastic bags which also contain sulphur. It’s easy to forget all of the common household things that contain sulphur but if you want to keep your silver items looking beautiful, then keep these pointers in mind.
How to Clean and Polish Silver Jewellery
Prevention is always more effective than damage control after an item has already started to tarnished. However if you want to restore some of the silver jewellery’s original shine, you can polish the jewellery with a silver cloth to help bring it back to life or clean the items with warm water. Cleaning and cloth polishing your silver jewellery regularly will also help to maintain its beauty and keep it shining for longer.
Maintaining your silver jewellery is of the utmost importance in keeping it shining in the long run. You don’t want to wait for your jewellery to become badly tarnished before you give it proper care and cleaning. Invest in a silver polishing cloth that is especially made for jewellery, however a microfibre cleaning cloth will also work. Polish the jewellery pieces in long strokes that go in the direction of the silver grain rather than against. It’s best not to polish in a circular motion which can enhance scratches on the surface.
You can also clean your silver jewellery by using warm water and a soft jewellery brush or cotton swab to get into smaller and harder to reach sections and dry the jewellery thoroughly after cleaning. It is not recommended that you use a silver polish, dip or cleaner and this can contribute towards tarnishing in the long run.
Give Your Silver the Care it Deserves
With a little bit of maintenance, regular polishing, proper storage and prevention measures in place, you can keep your silver jewellery looking shiny and bright for years to come. Silver jewellery is classic and precious so treat it with the care that it deserves!