Keeping your sterling silver looking brand new is no easy task. That newly minted sparkle, that dazzling glow that reflects in your eye, how can you ensure that it lasts?
how to clean your sterling silver
All sterling silver tarnishes, so what can you do to minimize this effect?
With just a few steps, your sterling silver will sparkle from a mile away. Your friends won’t stop gushing over how great it looks. You can be sure that these steps will take your jewelry from a lackluster tarnish to a radiant shine.
Before we get started, we have to understand why sterling silver tarnishes. The primary reason is exposure to air. Sterling silver contains up to 7.5% of metals other than silver. This is why you can find "925" stamped on most of our jewelry. This confirms that it meets industry silver standards. When these metals come into contact with the air, they build up a layer of tarnish. It’s almost impossible to entirely prevent, but you can delay and minimize the effect of oxidization with proper care.
Below are a few steps that can help.
1. Keep Your Jewelry Stored When You're Not Wearing It
Exposing jewelry to strong chemicals can speed up how fast it tarnishes. Keep your silver away from body lotion, perfume, hair spray, deodorant, or bleach. Even olives or acidic fruit juices can tarnish its appearance.
Keep your sterling silver enclosed when you are not wearing it. This will minimize the chance of your jewelry coming into contact with these types of damaging elements.
2. Clean All Remaining Cosmetics Off of Your Jewelry
If you wear makeup, whether it’s on your face or a little left on your shirt, it can cause discoloration of your sterling silver.
Take off your jewelry prior to doing your makeup, and if your makeup happens to get on jewelry, you can use a makeup cleaning cloth, or some simple silver polish that you can purchase at most markets.
This small step can make a world of a difference in the quality of your jewelry. Here is a video that we have provided featuring one of our jewelry experts that can provide a step by step cleaning process:
3. Keep Your Jewelry Dry
Easier to do when your home location is in a desert, but the humidity that is present in many climates can easily damage your precious sterling silver.
Many people take showers or go swimming with their jewelry left on as well. Over time, this constant exposure to water can cause the jewelry to tarnish quickly. Even moisture in the air can increase the speed of the discoloration.
It’s impossible to always keep your jewelry dry. Rain and sweat and accidental spills are all a part of life. Remember to run a soft dry jewelry cleaning cloth over your jewelry when it gets wet, and that will severely improve your chances of maintaining its color for a long time.
4. Polish Your Jewelry Consistently
And by consistently, we don’t mean every five minutes. However, you should have some kind of schedule of when you clean your jewelry, just like cleaning your house or washing your clothing.
Make sure you’re using the right kind of cloth. Paper towels and napkins will scratch the silver, and cause damage. A microfiber cloth, or a specialized silver cleaning cloth, is best. You can also use a Q-tip for those hard to reach, teeny tiny crevices.
Don’t rub too hard, or in a circular motion for too long. You want to wipe it off, not rub it in. Long, clean stokes are the best method of removing any buildup or tarnish.
5. Keep your jewelry safe
The last, but possibly most important step, is to keep your jewelry safe. Outside of keeping makeup off of it and keeping it dry, if you’re keeping it in a dirty space, or around other tarnished jewelry, you’re not helping your odds.
Sterling silver jewelry is a keepsake that takes loving care to maintain. If you follow these steps, you’ll be sure to have shining, enviable sterling silver.
As one of the leading distributors of sterling silver and turquoise jewelry in the world, we are always producing content regarding the care and enjoyment of these wonderful keepsakes. You can receive this information regularly by filling out the form below. Enjoy!