Sterling silver jewelry is a timeless jewelry that can last a lifetime.
We have retailed a great deal of sterling silver jewelry over the years. One question asked often is, can sterling silver jewelry tarnish and how to prevent it from tarnishing.
Here is some information and tips about sterling silver jewelry, how to take care of it and how to prevent it from tarnishing. I hope you find it useful.
Over time, any sterling silver jewelry piece exposed to air will tarnish. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. It’s the other metals, primarily copper, that cause sterling silver to tarnish.
The copper reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air, causing the tarnishing reaction. Silver tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution. Chemicals like hairspray, perfume, deodorant, body lotion, bleach, etc., can speed up the tarnishing process. Be also mindful to keep silver away from rubber, vinegar, olives and fruit juice.
Here are some tips on how to help prevent tarnishing on your silver jewelry and pieces from happening in the first place:
- Store your sterling silver jewelry in a cool, dark place awayfrom sources of sunlight, heat and moisture. To reduce scratching and tarnishing, store your pieces individually in small zip-lock plastic bags, removing as much air as possible. You may also want to put a small strip of anti-tarnish paper in each bag with the jewelry.
- Don’t leave silver jewelry in the bathroom unprotected, and do not wear it the shower, swimming pool or hot tub. Humidity and moisture can make tarnish appear faster!
- After taking off your silver jewelry, clean it with a dry soft cloth, or polishing cloth, before putting it back into an airtight container.
- If the polishing cloth doesn’t remove all the tarnish, wash silver jewelry (without gemstones or pearls) in warm water with a few drops of mild dish washing liquid. Immerse the sterling silver in the water and gently hand wash. Use a cotton swab for tight corners, or soft baby toothbrush can be used for more abrasive cleaning if needed.
- If the jewelry contains gemstones or pearls, do not submerge the entire piece into water. Instead, use a cotton swab with mild dish washing liquid to wash only the silver.
- Thoroughly rinse your pieces after washing, and completely dry the sterling silver before storing, as moisture is one of the factors that contribute to tarnishing.
- We do not recommend using toothpaste or baking soda for cleaning as it may scratch the surface of the silver. Do notuse harsh chemicals such as bleach, acetone, etc, to clean your silver because they can make silver more dull, and ruin the surface.
One of the best ways to keep sterling silver beautiful is to wear it.
Make sure to take care of your precious jewelry and keepsakes so that they can last forever.