How to Clean Silver Jewellery - Our Top Ten Tips!
It’s important to keep your silver jewellery clean and untarnished so it can shine as it’s meant to. 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.
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. So understanding how to clean silver jewellery to keep it as good as new is essential.
We’ve pulled together some top tips on how to avoid this happening to your silver, and what to do when it does to keep it ready-to-wear at all times!
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TOP TEN TIPS for Cleaning Silver Jewellery
WEAR ITBy 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.
LIQUID SILVER CLEANER
Keep your silver clean by using a liquid silver cleaner and polishing cloth to buff it back into shape. If you have any gemstones set into the silver, this can be a great way to clean any deposits around the setting.
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 paper and storing it in a ziplock bag. You can buy acid free paper from art stores.
SILVER POLISHING CLOTH
A silver polishing cloth is a quick and clean way to keep silver jewellery bright, and can be quicker and easier than other methods. Available from hardware shops, the cloth contains anti-tarnish properties. Simply rub gently on your silver jewellery to remove tarnish.
Soap can build up on jewellery that you wear often. Use a clean toothbrush and water to rub gently into the silver and clean any crevices. Especially effective for pieces with gemstones.
Tarnish is often a chemical reaction, a build up of sulphur sulphide on the surface of the silver which is a type of oxidation. 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 to remove the sulphur from the silver. Remove your silver jewellery and rinse off with water. You may need to repeat this method a couple of times, but it works wonders!
KEEP IT CLEAN
Wash your jewellery in hot soapy water after wearing - a mild dishwashing soap can remove any dirt and prevents tarnishing in between wears to keep your silver jewellery bright.
DON'T OVERDO IT
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.
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