Shiny and well-polished, silver jewelry offers the most stunning glow or sparkle, and even the oldest pieces of jewelry would look as good as new when cleaned properly. Unfortunately, wanting the brightest, most stunning pieces of sterling silver jewelry and being able to actually maintain the shine on your silver jewelry that you probably wear every day might be one of the more challenging things to do. There are numerous factors that contribute to and speed up the rate of tarnishing for silver, making the jewelry’s maintenance even harder, but it is not impossible to maintain the shine of silver and keep the jewelry pieces from tarnishing.
Before we share tips on how to keep your sterling silver jewelry, it’s important to keep in mind that sterling silver is one of the most versatile metals used in jewelry making. It is affordable and easy to work with, especially because it boasts a unique state that allows for the creation of unique designs.
Unfortunately, sterling silver jewelry loses its natural shiny luster over time, and it will tarnish from exposure to oxygen or oxidation when the sterling silver reacts with oxygen or sulfur. In other cases, the sterling silver jewelry also tarnishes when it’s exposed to body oils easily. There is also the issue of high levels of humidity, water and air pollution, as well as contact with specific chemicals present in hairsprays, deodorants, lotions, bleach, and perfumes; all that contribute to the sterling silver jewelry tarnishing.
That said, here are some of the best tips and tricks to help keep your silver jewelry from tarnishing.
1.Store the sterling silver jewelry in airtight Ziploc bags
One of the easiest ways of keeping your jewelry from tarnishing would be by always keeping the jewelry in a Ziploc bag. You have to make sure that the bag is airtight, this way jewelry will not be exposed to air or other things that make the jewelry susceptible to tarnishing.
Don’t close the bag only halfway, and you also need to consider squeezing out all the air from the bag before you seal it off. Also, you need to ensure that the Ziploc bag is free of abrasive materials or chemicals such as polyethylene and Mylar.
If, however, you cannot use a plastic bag to store the sterling silver jewelry because it isn’t a practical solution for you or if you don’t have enough of these bags, then you could find the specialized jewelry bags to store your jewelry in.
2.Store the pieces separately.
To avoid scratches on your jewelry pieces, always store the pieces separately. And if you must buy multiple jewelry pieces, you should be ready to invest in more than one reliable storage bag for each of your jewelry pieces.
Besides scratching, storing the jewelry pieces separately means that you will protect the pieces from damaging or scratching each other.
After you’ve encased the silver jewelry, you should always keep the jewelry out of direct sunlight and in a cool and a dry place.
3.Store your jewelry from wood
Wooden storage boxes are great, but when it comes to storing sterling silver jewelry, you shouldn’t keep them in wooden storage boxes. You should also avoid keeping the jewelry in or around chemically-treated areas/ surfaces that would otherwise increase the rate of tarnishing.
4.Store the jewelry with chalk
To avoid tarnishing, the first thing you should do is always to keep your pieces of jewelry away from moisture. But this doesn’t just apply to bathrooms or kitchen other moist areas, but also the storage bags.
If you choose to keep the sterling silver jewelry in a jewelry storage box or in a jewelry bag, you’d want to employ measures to get rid of all moisture from the area. You can do this by storing all your sterling silver pieces with a piece of chalk.
Chalk is known to chemically absorb not just moisture but also chemical residues, meaning that it’s the cheapest, most effective item to use to prevent tarnishing of your sterling silver jewelry pieces.
5.Make use of Silica Packs.
The other thing you could do to prevent the jewelry from tarnishing is to add silica packs to the jewelry storage bags.
While silica bags are often seen in new shoe boxes, bags, and shoes, and even in clothing, these packs could also be used to protect all your pieces of jewelry dry and free from tarnishing.
If you cannot afford to find other ways of keeping the jewelry dry, be certain to use the silica packs.
So, next time you unpack after shopping, keep the silica packs so that you don’t have to purchase them online, enhancing the appearance of your jewelry.
6.Clean the sterling silver jewelry using anti-tarnish cloths
You could use an anti-tarnish cloth to clean your sterling silver jewelry from the moment you notice tarnishing on your silver piece. These anti-tarnish cloths are effective in preventing moisture, and this is made possible by their ability to absorb all the oxygen and the sulfur from the air, slowing down and stopping tarnishing.
You should also use the jewelry cleaning anti-tarnish cloths regularly after wearing the precious pieces and before you store those pieces of jewelry.
Besides the anti-tarnishing cloth, you also need to find a polishing cloth or even a silver wash to ensure that the jewelry is in great shape all the time.
7.Put the jewelry away after you take them off
The other important thing to keep in mind when caring for your sterling silver jewelry is always to keep the jewelry away in storage as soon as you take off the jewelry. Also, you should never shower with your sterling silver jewelry because the excess humidity would only speed up oxidation.
At the same time, you shouldn’t swim or get into the hot tub with your sterling silver jewelry. Keep in mind that between humidity, moisture, and chlorine, these elements could quickly damage the jewelry, which is why you should, as much as possible, keep it away from such conditions.
8.Don’t exercise with your sterling silver jewelry.
The other thing you could do to prevent the sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing easily is by removing the jewelry before working out. Sweating and the heavy workout equipment will cause scratching, increasing the rate of oxidation, making the jewelry tarnish sooner.
9.Other measures you should take are as follows:
- Remove your rings and necklaces when cooking
- Don’t wear your sterling silver necklaces with clothing made of wool
- Avoid wearing latex gloves with your sterling silver jewelry because latex speeds up tarnishing
- Always put on your jewelry after dressing up, wearing your perfumes, makeup, lotions, etc., before the jewelry.
- If you are looking for a long-lasting solution, maybe a little temporary protection, you could get that piece of jewelry plated through a process known as flashing. Just keep in mind that the plated layer will still wear off after some time.
If you own sterling silver jewelry, consider the tips above to be able to protect the sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing. Generally, proper storage and keeping the pieces of jewelry away from conditions that would damage the jewelry offer the best level of protection for your jewelry.