Cleaning Silver Jewellery - Silver Bubble’s Top Ten Tips!
In time, silver will begin to look tarnished and duller than when you first bought it. Tarnish can be a goldish colour, or a greeny-black, depending on how long it has been left alone. Tarnishing occurs when silver reacts with the oxygen in the air and can be encouraged by certain chemicals and conditions. It’s important to keep your silver jewellery clean and untarnished so it can shine as it’s meant to.
Oxidation is a completely natural process but can be sped up by things like skin cream, salty air, chlorine, and even pH unbalanced skin. Any of these will act as a catalyst for oxidation and dull your silver more quickly.
We’ve put together some top tips on how to avoid this happening to your silver, and what to do when it does.
By far our favourite method for keeping your silver jewellery clean is to wear it regularly! We love to think that our pieces are being worn and loved on a daily basis, and sparkle brighter for it.
- Keep your silver clean by using a liquid silver cleaner and polishing cloth to buff it back into shape. If you have any stones or crystal set into the jewellery use a polishing cloth on its own. These products can be found in any supermarket in the cleaning product aisles or hardware store.
Next time you get one of those silica gel sachets in a new pair of shoes keep hold of it. These remove moisture from the air and will help keep your silver clean. Replace every so often. A stick of chalk will do just as well.
- Store your silver in anti-tarnish bags, or create your own at home by wrapping your silver jewellery in acid-free toilet paper and storing it in a ziplock bag.
You can clean silver without chemicals in a number of ways. Try making a homemade silver cleaning paste out of 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 tablespoons water. Apply with a damp sponge and gently rub, rinse, and buff dry.
Another natural cleaning method is to use toothpaste! Pop some on an old toothbrush, and rub gently into the silver. Leave it for a couple of minutes then wash off with some water. For silver chains, put toothpaste on the chain, then pull the chain through a cloth or paper towel. You’ll know it’s working when the cloth turns black.
The Aluminium Foil Method - Fill a bowl with hot water, add a tablespoon of salt and stir until dissolved. Add some ribbons of aluminium foil to the bowl, followed by your silver jewellery. Stir then let sit for a couple of minutes. Remove your silver jewellery and rinse off with water. You may need to repeat this method a couple of times, but it works wonders!
For silver cutlery sets, clean with hot, soapy water immediately after use. No matter how tempting, never put silver in the dishwasher.
Don’t over polish your silver. Once or twice a year should be ample to keep tarnishing at bay. Polishing silver removes a micro-layer off the top of the item, so be wary of overdoing it
- Don’t wear rubber gloves when handling your silver jewellery, and avoid storing your pieces with rubber bands. Rubber actively corrodes silver - keep clear!
These are our top tips for cleaning silver jewellery and ensuring it stays sparkling. You can take silver jewellery to professionals to have it cleaned, but it’s a doddle to do it yourself, and far more rewarding.