5 Tips to keep your Sterling Silver Jewelry Sparkling.
Tarnishing is caused by oxidization and moisture in the air. It first appears as a golden hue on the silver, but eventually turns darker.
Cleaning and caring for Sterling Silver Jewelry is simple to do if you follow a few basic steps. With a little care and maintenance, your treasured Jewelry will always shine.
#1~Wear it!!! Don’t tuck it away for that special day or evening- the more you wear it the more it will take on a beautiful patina.
#2~The absolute easiest and fool proof way of keeping all your Sterling Silver Jewelry with Gems, Stones, Pearls and Shells tarnish free, is to go to the local Dollar Shop and buy a variety of sizes of small craft zip-loc bags.
If you have an earring stand or a special hanger for necklaces you can buy large zip lock bags in the department shops or grocery stores that will fit most of these. I myself use the extra large zip lock clothing bags that I use for my larger stands and flats. Make sure you zip them tight!!
Store each item individually in these bags. Not only will this keep all your jewelry from touching each other (possibly causing scratches), it will protect them from the air, which causes quick tarnishing.
There are a few ways to safely clean your Silver Jewelry~these are the ones I recommend.
#3~For quick cleaning of silver, such as removing makeup or light dirt, use a small amount of liquid detergent or soap to about a half cup of warm water. Using a soft cotton or flannel cloth, wipe the solution onto the jewelry, rinse under clean warm water, and dry thoroughly. If your silver is intricate and very detailed, use a child’s toothbrush and scrub gently with the solution and rinse.
My good friend Gina who has acquired many of my pieces of Silver Jewelry gave me this cleaning tip. To my surprise one of my Jewelry Importers sent me this same information.
This technique is very good for Sterling Silver with a Burnish Texture or chains, which will not clean up with a Silver Polishing Cloth.
***Caution please do this with all Sterling Silver only. NO gemstones, NO stones, NO shell or NO pearl!!
#4~Line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil. Place your jewelry in the pan. Heat some water to a boil and pour over top of the Jewelry to submerse it. Add a tablespoon of baking soda. Some bubbling should occur. The aluminum and hot water with baking soda triggers a chemical reaction and you might have a slight smell of rotten eggs (i.e. sulfur). Give the liquid a stir with a wooden spoon or chopstick.
It doesn’t take long before your sterling Jewelry is clean and bright. You may notice fine flakes of sulfur floating in the water.
This process leaves your silver completely undamaged. Just wash in soapy (phosphate-free) water, rinse in clean water, and finally dry by putting the jewellery between some layers soft cloth or towels.
***REMEMBER If your Jewelry includes gemstones of any kind, cleaning requires much more care. Any liquid form of cleansers will dull the polished finish off the gemstone. Silver dips are completely out of the question especially if your piece has any gemstones or porous stones.
#5~Purchase a silver cleaning cloth, which has anti-tarnish ingredients. The white cloth is for polishing and the blue cloth for buffing. Keep this handy inside your jewelry box or purse for quick cleaning.
Again do not use this cloth on any porous Gemstones, Pearls, Shells or Stones~you can polish around the Gems.
As you clean your silver jewelry, remember that small amounts of tarnish will give the piece a lovely patina.
Finally wear your jewelry!! You’ve bought it, you love it and you should enjoy it. Just remember to put it back into that zip-lock bag. It will save you so much time later when you are in a rush and want your Silver Jewelry to look it’s best.
With proper care and storage, your silver jewelry will bring you many years of wear and enjoyment.
Cheers to keeping your Silver Jewelry sparkly and shiny forever.
Your Silver Jewelry Specialist