Knowing what’s harmful to your sterling silver jewelry is the best way to combat tarnish. For your daily wearing, we’ve put together this list of tips:
- Wear it often: Believe it or not, your skin’s natural oils will help keep silver jewelry shiny. One of the easiest ways to prevent tarnish is to simply wear your silver often as opposed to letting it sit in a jewelry box unworn.
- Remove during household chores: Substances with additional sulfur like household cleaners, chlorinated water, perspiration, and rubber will accelerate corrosion and tarnish. It’s a good idea to remove sterling silver completely before cleaning.
- Keep out of direct sunlight: Before you hit the beach or pool, be sure to remove your silver jewelry. Sunlight can cause silver to tarnish as well.
- Put your jewelry on last: For generations, women have been putting their jewelry on last and that’s for good reason! Lotions, makeups, hair spray and perfumes will accelerate tarnishing.
Silver is a soft, lustrous metal, so gentle cleaning is key. A mix of warm water and mild dishwashing soap, or even baby shampoo, will usually do the trick for cleaning everyday jewelry. This method also works to clean gold jewelry.
- Add a few drops of liquid dish soap to warm water. Mix until bubbles form.
- Soak jewelry in the solution for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use a soft-bristle brush, such as a toothbrush, to clean any crevices.
- Rinse jewelry in warm water.
- To dry, gently rub jewelry with a silver cloth or microfiber towel. (Note: Avoid using paper towels, as these can scratch the silver.)
Fine silver jewelry with diamonds or other precious gems can often be cleaned with soap and water as well. However, consider speaking to a jeweler before cleaning valuables or have the piece professionally cleaned to be safe.