Silver jewelry is beautiful and offers great durability. However, once silver has been exposed to humidity silver will start to tarnish. Here is how to clean silver jewelry and how to maintain it:
This tarnish will build up quickly and eventually will leave your silver jewelry with a dark black coating. This problem is easily remedied, as several methods are available to restore your jewelry to its original shine.
THE SALT AND FOIL METHOD:
Using this method will require the following items:
- Aluminum foil
- Soft Cloth
- Small jar or bowl (depending on the size of your jewelry)
Fill the bowl about half full with hot water and add 1 tablespoon of salt to a jar, or a couple of spoons in a bowl.
Next, add a few strips of aluminum foil to the jar, or if you are using a bowl, cover the bottom with a sheet of aluminum foil. Then, simply drop your piece of jewelry into the water. You can shake the jar or swirl the water in the bowl around a little bit.
Allow the jewelry to sit in the solution for a few minutes. The aluminum with the salt will act as a magnet and will start to pull the tarnish off the silver.
Next, remove the jewelry piece from the solution and rinse it under running water. Repeat the whole process as needed until all the tarnish has been removed. Dry with a soft cloth towel.
This methods works well for pieces made entirely out of silver, but should NEVER be used for pieces that have turquoise, pearls, coral or other soft stones set in the design! If that is the case you will want to use this alternate method.
If in doubt, or when the silver does not come clean , take it to a professional. They will have the expertise to clean your piece of silver without damaging the gemstones.
HOW TO PREVENT TARNISH:
Never wear silver jewelry in the shower, swimming pool, or hot tub, and never wash it with regular soap, which can dull its luster. You’ll also want to keep your silver away from food and drinks as much as possible, and don’t leave it on wooden surfaces, which are often treated with chemicals that will tarnish silver.
Use a soft, clean, nub-free cotton cloth before you put it away. This removes not just moisture but also body oils that may tarnish the silver over time. Never use paper towels or tissues to clean your jewelry; they may contain wood fibers that can scratch silver.
Should you have any additional questions about this or any other jewelry related topics, you can always: “Ask the Jeweller”
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