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Sterling silver is a precious metal that has been around for centuries, and has been used to create everything from dinnerware, to currency, to jewelry, and more. Sterling silver is known for its fineness, its versatility, and its beauty. Technically speaking, sterling silver is silver which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, such as copper, which gives it its strength by which it can be cast into all manner of beautiful shapes.
Today we specifically want to specifically talk about sterling silver jewelry, and offer some tips on how to keep it clean. There are few things more beautiful than untarnished, freshly polished sterling silver jewelry, and so keeping yours clean and sparkling ought to be a top priority.
How To Keep Your Sterling Silver Jewelry Sparkling
Tarnish on sterling silver can be spotted when we notice a dark tinge to our silver jewelry. This dark tinge is caused by a thin layer of corrosive material, which you can think of it as simply “dirt” or “gunk”. This tarnish is created in many ways, some of which are more natural, and some which are caused by us exposing our sterling silver unnecessarily to more chemicals.
So, what pre tell is the best method to keep your sterling silver jewelry from getting tarnished? – by avoiding contact with harmful tarnishing agents, for starters. This begs the question – what are some of these harmful tarnishing agents that lead to our sterling silver jewelry getting tarnished and dull?
To some, the answer may seem obvious, but we’ll state it anyway for the record. When applying any kind of hair spray, lotion, or perfume, you mustn’t forget to remove all of your sterling silver jewelry because, over time, these chemicals will affect your jewelry and lead to tarnishing. This also goes for some types of make-up, not to mention certain types of food which can mysteriously find its way into the crevices of your sterling silver jewelry.
Now, some might balk at the suggestion that you always need to be removing your sterling silver rings, or necklaces, every time you sit down to eat or apply make up. Fair enough, we don’t want to suggest that anyone go overboard here. However, if you are applying any kind of spray or lotion, these are strong chemicals and we guarantee that they will not agree with your sparkling silver jewelry, so best to err on the side of caution, would you not agree?
Strong chemicals that we apply daily will definitely make your sterling silver lose its lustre. If you are new to wearing sterling silver, remember that it is a sensitive metal and can scratch and tarnish easily, so if you want it to last a lifetime, you need to take care of it by keeping it away from harmful chemicals.
Cleaning Tarnished Silver Jewelry
Inevitably, there will come a point where you need to clean your tarnished sterling silver jewelry, so how best to do this?
To begin with, you can always try to use soap and water and a soft cotton cloth or cellulose sponge to clean your sterling silver jewelry, but be sure to use phosphate-free soap whenever possible! Then, once you’ve given it a good cleaning, immediately dry it off with a soft towel. Remember to avoid things like wearing rubber gloves, which can corrode silver, or using lemon-scented soap, which can spot silver. If you want to use gloves, go with nitrile or cotton gloves, which do not promote tarnish.
Deeper Cleaning Of Sterling Silver
Sometimes, the tarnish on your silver piece of jewelry will not go away simply by a quick buff with some soap and water. Now what? Here is one way which may sound a little crazy, but actually works!
Cleaning Silver Without Polishing Using Baking Soda, Hot Water, & Aluminum Foil
This is the first unconventional method we’ll mention, and its a good one. Place your sterling silver jewelry in bowl. Boil some water and pour it on top of your jewelry. Then, place three small strips of aluminum foil and one tablespoon of baking soda in the water with your jewelry and stir it with a wooden spoon. Make sure the foil and the silver are touching. Hot water is crucial for this to work!
The chemical reaction between the aluminum foil, the baking soda, and the boiling water will strip the tarnish right off your jewelry, leaving it shiny and new again! Make sure you stir the mixture around well enough so everything comes into contact. You should smell something unpleasant as you do this, which means its working. This method is quick and requires no polishing on your part.
Then, just rinse your jewelry off under cool tap water and towel it off. Voila! Your sterling silver jewelry is back to being beautiful and shiny once again!
We hope you enjoyed this article and thanks for reading!