Why Your Sterling Silver jewelry Looks Cloudy Over Time?

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The beauty about silver is that, out of all the precious metals, it is the cheapest and most available. The metal can be used for a variety of things especially for crafting jewelry that is versatile and easy to style. Silver’s color is also suitable for different skin tones and diamond settings because it does not reflect any color onto it.

The issue with silver, sterling silver to be specific, is that over time you might notice it getting cloudy. When this happens, you’re probably asking yourself why and how this happened? Is it normal?

And how can you fix it and prevent it in feature? Don’t worry, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will share answers to all your burning questions and help you come up with a proper long-term solution.


Sterling Silver Looks Cloudy – Is It Normal?

sterling silver jewelry looks cloudy

So, you’ve noticed that your sterling silver is beginning to look cloudy and are scared that this may not be normal.

You don’t need to worry; your silver is genuine 925 grade.

It is normal for you to notice the cloudiness after some time, especially if you are not properly taking care of the silver. The cloudiness is just a result of the tarnish building up, on the metal, causing it to lose its shine and look foggy or milky.

Ideally, all forms of silver tarnish, even pure silver. Because of it is soft nature, nature, however, pure silver is not suitable for jewelry crafting.

That is why about 7.5% of copper has to be added to it to make it harder, resulting in sterling silver being made of – 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The tarnishing in sterling silver is therefore bound to occur faster because copper is a corrosive metal that is susceptible to oxidation under poor conditions. That is why how you maintain your sterling silver is important.


Why Your Sterling Silver Jewelry Looks Cloudy?

sterling silver jewelry looks cloudy

We have already established that the cloudiness of the silver is a result of tarnishing. This is the process by which the metal reacts with a non-metal to produce tarnish. In this case, the silver would react with sulfur in its surrounding, resulting in silver sulfide.

The copper could also react with sulfur or oxygen forming copper sulfide or copper oxide respectively. This also contributes to the tarnish build-up and hence the cloudy appearance.

There is no specific time frame that tarnishing occurs. The speed and severity will depend on the conditions the sterling silver is kept under.

The more frequently it is exposed to harsh conditions the faster it will tarnish.

If left unattended the cloudiness will eventually turn black and the damage could be irreversible.  


How To Store Your Sterling Silver Jewelry So It Doesn’t Look Cloudy.

sterling silver jewelry looks cloudy

Luckily, it is easy to solve the issue of your cloudy sterling silver. All that is needed is a good cleaning at home or better yet a professional polishing by your trusted jeweler.

The long-term solution, however, is to properly store your sterling silver. The following are some useful tips to help with that:


1. First to take off-Last to put on Rule.

This means that when wearing your silver jewelry, it should be the last thing you put on.

In the evening, they should be the first thing you take off, before jumping in the shower.

This ensures that the silver will not be affected by the chemicals from your cosmetic products and soap.


2. Avoid moisture and heat.

Areas with high humidity and temperature, form the perfect conditions for tarnishing. Under such conditions, the silver will likely tarnish faster.

As such, ensure you store the jewelry in a cool and dry place. Also avoid washing dishes, swimming, or showering with them.

sterling silver jewelry looks cloudy

3. Avoid harmful chemicals and substances.

By this, we mean to store your silver jewelry away from your cosmetics and oxidants like bleach. Avoid substances like paper, rubber, and latex as they contain high sulfuric content.

Even foods like onions, garlic, salt, and spinach may accelerate the tarnishing in your silver.


4. Clean your silver as frequently as possible.

This is important to prevent the build-up of tarnish over time and also to clean off any dust or food particles or chemicals on the silver.

To achieve this all you need is warm water, mild soap, and a soft cloth. It is recommended that you clean your silver jewelry as frequently as you use them.

sterling silver jewelry looks cloudy

5. Store the jewelry away properly.

How you store the jewelry matters as much as the conditions around it. The best place is in a jewelry box lined with flannel or soft cloth.

You can also wrap the silver pieces in anti-tarnish paper before placing them in the box. Also, before storing the pieces, ensure that they are clean and dry.


6. Avoid wearing them while doing strenuous activity.

While your body chemicals aren’t as harmful to your silver as other chemicals mentioned above, excessive amounts of it could accelerate tarnishing.

These body chemicals are found in your swear. That is why you should avoid wearing your silver pieces on days you’ll be very active.



Sterling silver is a wonderful metal to work with. It is cheap, available, and works well with other materials.

There is much amazing silver jewelry you can purchase today at pocket-friendly prices, so do not be discouraged by the tendency of the metal to get cloudy.

All it needs is proper care and storage, and you will find that maintaining it will not be difficult.

Read more jewelry metal posts here or visit our latest articles here!

Hey! I finally find the Answer!