If you like jewelry, I’m sure you already know about sterling silver. The common thing though, is that you will always want a new one every time. Most people like sterling silver because of its shine.
Well, once you buy it unless you care for it, then it won’t remain shiny.
It’s as essential to take care of your jewels as it is to order the right ones, especially when you want them to last long.
Here we will bring you the vital tips to care for your jewels and keep it from corroding, tarnishing or rusting that would typically reduce its lifespan.
The good thing is that you only have to spend a short time taking care of the silver. Before we break down the points on how to take care of the silver, let’s check the following.
- Did you buy the authentic 925 types?
- Do you know how to clean it?
- Don‘t fall for the following myths.
- Let‘s talk of tarnish.
- How to polish it
- Keep your silver dry.
- How to store it
- What causes tarnish.
- Do you know when you need to remove it
- You can seek professional care
- The do‘s and don‘ts
- Back to you
Did you buy the authentic 925 types?
Unfortunately, if you didn’t buy the real sterling silver, there’s not much you can do. It will damage quicker than the real one. So before you order one, you should confirm that it has its hallmark stamp.
Check the stamp and keep yourself safe from the fraudsters. You don’t want to buy a jewel to realize it’s not what you thought it was.
You may want to know more: Sterling Silver Vs Silver
Do you know how to clean it?
The first question is do you know how to clean the jewels? Once you buy them, you will need to keep them clean to have them look as good as new. There are ingredients you can use to clean the silver at home.
If you love your jewel, though, it’s your asset, so you have to clean them right. It doesn’t matter whether you are cleaning them because of the tarnish that already formed or you just want to keep them clean.
- Take a piece of cloth, place the silver on the clothing, and gently rub it to remove the already formed dirt. Once you finish this, then you can rinse the silver with warm water.
- Make sure you dry it properly with a soft and dry cloth.
- Finish it by polishing it to regain the shine it has.
You can use the water and baking soda to clean too.
If you have the baking soda at home, create a paste and then use it to clean the silver, especially when you notice any tarnish form. You can use the soft brush to clean out the tarnish and other dirt that formed.
Don‘t fall for the following myths.
Toothpaste will not clean your silver. In the past, the toothpaste was full of baking soda, and that’s why people used it to clean the silver with it. Today it doesn’t have all that baking soda, so using the toothpaste doesn’t clean it right.
Commercial polish is the best.
For the most part, people have believed that the flitz is the only solution to use in cleaning the silver. But flitz is abrasive and will scratch your silver. They will cause tarnish more.
If you wear the jewel many times, you will need to clean it many times.
I beg to differ even though it looks logical to you. Your skin oil actually will protect the silver than if you store them and not use it at all.
Let‘s talk of tarnish.
One of the most common problems that silver has is that it tarnishes often. This is hard to prevent, mostly because the silver molecules react with the sulfur molecule in the air to form a tarnish layer.
So when you expose silver to direct sun, chlorinated water, or salt, it will mostly tarnish.
However, I want you to know that if you do care for the silver properly, it will not tarnish as much.
But if you are in a humid environment, there’s almost nothing you can do to save your silver.
The best way to go about this is to prevent tarnish before it occurs. It makes your work easy. There will be a few things you can do to make sure you protect it. Check them below.
· Remember, sterling silver won‘t stand the air.
Before we go about any other business, understand that silver and the air won’t work well.
I know what you are thinking, and ‘how will I prevent the air from affecting my silver?
If you are thereof not wearing the silver, you should store it in an airtight space. Confirm that the storage place you use doesn’t have air spaces.
Such spaces will allow the tarnish reaction. A zip lock bag is the best method you can use to store the jewel.
So you want to prevent the silver damage by having a fabric-lined case to keep the silver safe. Some people even use anti-tarnish strips for protection.
· Keep it from direct sunlight.
I know what you may be feeling that you can wear the silver in the direct sun, and it’s that it looks pleasing. But remember, the silver will start to tarnish with direct exposure.
If you have to put it under the sun, then be ready to clean it thoroughly.
· Don‘t keep silver in places you are sure you have sulfur.
Air contains sulfur, and it will always form the tarnish soon. Quickly said, even materials that contain sulfur will cause the tarnish to your silver. Don’t put it with eggs, wood, rubber, latex, just to mention a few.
· Polish it often
Unfortunately, silver is way too delicate, which means it will lose its shine if you don’t care for it. Silver will soon get dirty, but the good news is that to clean it, you simply need to wipe it down using a simple soft cloth.
How to polish it
Before you start, remember you will need to wipe the silver using the long up and down strokes. Never use the circular motion to clean the jewels as that will not clean it.
You can polish the silver to keep it looking as good as new. So this is the easiest way to polish it at least every time you wear it.
Take a soft piece of cloth and then use your elbow grease to polish it. You aim to make sure you never scratch the silver.
You can also use mild ammonia and some warm water for the process. You will just need to mix them in equal parts then soak the jewel in to remove the tarnish. Finish off by rinsing it out and then drying it with a soft piece of cloth.
Also, use the olive oil and lemon juice as that is one of the most natural methods. Take half a cup of lemon juice then add a teaspoon of olive oil.
Now dip your soft piece of cloth and then wring it out to release the excess. Next, start to gently polish the silver while observing that you don’t scratch the silver anyway.
Finally, rinse it with clean and warm water before using another soft and dry cloth.
The baking soda and white vinegar will also clean it right. Take half a cup of vinegar and then add about two tablespoons of baking powder.
Let it fizz, but put your silver in and let it soak for about two hours. Finish off by rinsing it with warm water, and then you can dry it using a soft cloth.
Want more details? Check out How To Polish Sterling Silver.
Keep your silver dry.
The one thing you shouldn’t do is keep your silver wet. If you are sure the water you are using is pure, you can be sure it’s safe even if it comes to contact with your silver.
But the problem is that it’s not every day that we use pure water. Some days, you will use impure silver. Unfortunately, such water then will always react with the silver forming the tarnish.
Shower water: don’t shower with silver on because the jewel may react with them. Unless you are sure, you just forgot, and if you did, then remember to wipe it out when you are out of the shower. Just keep it very dry.
Further reading: Can Sterling Silver Get Wet
Swimming pool: is the worst because it contains chlorine. This chlorine will then sadly react with the silver to form the tarnish. However, if you forget, you can just rinse it with the mild soap before you dry it thoroughly.
Hot springs: such places are great, but they will contain sulfur and other salts that will immediately react with your silver. It will turn dark in color, making it hard to make.
You may also interested in: What Jewelry Can You Wear In The Shower
How to store it
The way you store the silver will determine if it lasts longer.
The first thing to remember is that the silver quickly reacts with air, so you should keep all the air out if you want it to last long. So forget about nightstands for your jewels. Also, don’t leave it in the drawer or your purse.
Find the ant tarnish bags that are further airtight to make sure you keep the air out, and the silver, therefore, never tarnishes.
Store the pieces individually to make sure they won’t scratch each other in the storage process. Such bags will make it retain the shine and newness.
Make sure you store the jewels in a cool, dry place to make sure the silver doesn’t oxidize.
Before you store it, though, you should unclasp it and straighten it to avoid tangling. You can also use the silica protective gel to keep the jewel form tarnish.
Even if you will be traveling, use the particular casing for the protection of the jewels. You aim to make sure it’s not exposed.
What causes tarnish.
Of course, when you know what will cause the tarnish quicker, you can avoid them. In most cases, the very acidic skin, sulfur, and sweat are the significant causes of the reactions and tarnishing. The good thing though, is that you can remove it just by cleaning it.
Do you know when you need to remove it
I know you may want to wear the jewel all the time, but it’s just not possible, and if you don’t remove it some time, then you will soon damage it.
Remember, your body perspires, and when it does, especially when you are out exercising, it will start to tarnish. Also, the chemicals in the air aren’t that good for your silver.
Rather than waiting to struggle to remove the tarnish work towards preventing the tarnish formation;
- You shouldn’t have the jewel on when:
- You need to cater to some household chores.
- When you are going to the gym because you will sweat a lot
- When you are bathing or showering
- Don’t use them when you are going to swim, in the sauna, hot tubs.
- Some lotions and makeups will cause tarnish, so make sure you wear them last after all the makeup and preparation.
- Are you going to lie under the sun, keep them off because the silver doesn’t want direct sun?
- When you are cooking
You can seek professional care
If you know your sterling silver jewelry is still new, but it’s too dirty or tarnished, you can seek professional service. Let’s say the expert will help you clean the jewels if you don’t have time to clean it.
If you also have valuable jewels that are old, you can seek the professional’s service to clean them.
The do‘s and don‘ts
Finally, here is the summary of dos and don’ts of sterling silver when you are looking for ways to make it last longer.
- Store the silver right because if you don’t, then you will damage it sooner.
- Be gentle when polishing or cleaning the jewels.
- Remember to remove the silver when you need to.
- Use a soft brush to clean it and remove the tarnish when needed.
- Keep it dry at all times.
- Ask professionals questions when you need to for guidance.
- Be harsh when cleaning the jewels.
- Store many silver jewels tangled together.
- Don’t use the metal polish on your silver.
- Use silver dip stuff for cleaning the jewels.
- Use it in very humid temperatures.
Back to you
Now you have no reason to let your jewels tarnish or get damaged sooner. Remember preventing is better than cure. Take all precautionary measures, thus making sure your jewels are safe. But most of all, only buy good quality silver.