Being a precious possession that is designed and crafted to last for a lifetime, silver jewellery needs to be taken care of otherwise it’s got a tendency to look dirty and tarnished. This is especially the case of Sterling silver jewellery because silver itself is a soft metal, which can go out of shape quite easily. However, properly maintained silver actually improves with age and it develops a lush patina layer when treated well.
Preventing and Limiting Tarnishing and Staining is the Best Approach
1. Store your jewellery in a clean, dry place.
2. Keep your jewellery in a fabric-lined jewellery case, or even better in a box with compartments and dividers. If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in special plastic pockets or soft tissue paper.
3. Don’t put together your jewellery pieces in a drawer or jewellery case. Pieces are prone to scratching.
4. Hang your jewellery up – there are a variety of organisers that have a hanger like hook with numerous clear pouches. Those styles are a great way to keep your earrings separate and visible. And again, put one piece in each pouch to avoid scratches.
5. Be careful when removing your jewellery to wash your hands. Don’t leave it on the rim of a sink where it can easily slip down the drain.
6. See your jeweller at least once a year to have your jewellery checked for loose prongs, worn mountings, and general wear and tear.
7. Use tarnish-resistant cloth and cases to store silver.
8. Safety matters: consider purchasing a jewellery box with a lock and a key.
9. Never leave silver jewellery lying against bare wood. Wood, especially oak, contains an acid that will mar the surface of the silver. Paper and cardboard, since they are wood pulp products, have the same effect, so avoid paper envelopes or small cardboard boxes also.
After storage comes… cleaning and sanitising
10. There are many types of small machines on the market that will clean jewellery in a matter of minutes using high-frequency sound. These machines are called Blue sapphire ultrasonic cleaners and are available in many different models and prices. They can be a convenient way to quickly clean your silver jewellery at home. However, ultrasonic cleaners can damage some jewellery and gems, and prolonged use may loosen stones from their mountings.
11. The best cleaning tip is to use a mild soap and water solution. Pat dry with a soft cloth. If dirt is more stubborn a silver cleaner is appropriate. But don’t rub silver with anything other than a polishing cloth or fine piece of felt. Tissue paper or paper towels may cause scratches.
12. Silver jewellery should always be cleaned with a soft cotton or flannel cloth. Synthetic materials can cause scratching. You can also buy a special silver cleaning cloth, which has anti-tarnish ingredients, and keep it inside your jewellery box for quick cleaning.
13. You can also use a child’s toothbrush to get into patterns.
14. For quick cleaning of silver, such as removing makeup or light dirt, use a small amount of liquid detergent or soap to about half a cup of warm water. Using your cloth, wipe the solution gently into the jewellery, rinse under clean warm water, and dry afterwards.
15. To remove tarnish or heavier dirt, you will need to use special silver cleaner. Silver cleaners can come in the form of a paste or liquid, also known as silver dip.