So, you just got yourself a lovely piece of sterling silver jewelry! Wonderful, indeed! Gifts of silver are always gifts of value and meaning. Naturally, you’d want to keep it looking as pristine as the day you first set eyes on it. Here are a few tips on how to clean sterling silver, store it, and keep it looking new for years to come.
How to Store Sterling Silver
To keep tarnish at bay, wrap each piece in soft tissue paper and store your sterling silver jewelry pieces in resealable plastic bags, individually. Tarnishing happens when the surface is exposed to air and moisture. Sealing them in a zip lock bag or any resealable organizer keeps them away from moist and air.
How to Clean Sterling Silver
Your sterling silver pieces will inevitably need cleaning and polishing on a regular basis. This is important so you can remove oils, cosmetics debris, fingerprints, dirt, and even naturally-occurring tarnish.
The two most effective cleansers can be found right in the bath – warm water and a block of mild bar soap. Avoid liquid soaps. Liquid soap leaves an unsightly film and a dull finish. Here’s what to do:
1. Apply warm, soapy water with a soft cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush.
2. Gently brush your jewelry with the solution.
3. Rinse the sterling silver after brushing it.
4. Then pat dry with a soft piece of cloth.
Incidentally, this warm, soapy water solution works great for non-porous gemstones such as garnet, peridot, amethyst, topaz, and zirconia. Avoid using this method for porous gemstones such as emerald, opal, pearl, turquoise, amber, onyx, and coral.
To polish, invest in a silver polishing cloth. These types of cloths are chemically treated to remove tarnish and leave a polished shine.To polish, invest in a silver polishing cloth. These types of cloths are chemically treated to remove tarnish and leave a polished shine.
Begin by rubbing your sterling silver piece. Your polishing cloth is good for several years with normal use, despite the dark residue. DO NOT launder your polishing cloth because this will remove the cleaning agent.
How To Enjoy Your Sterling Silver
Life is short! Silver jewelry should be used and enjoyed often. Wear it for your daily grind or flaunt them on those nights out. Either way, sterling silvers are great partners to almost every outfit.
However, as much as we’d love to have you wearing them often, remove your silver pieces for these activities:
SWIMMING – Chlorine can cause serious damage not just to silver pieces, but to gemstones, as well.
HOUSE CHORES – Most cleaning products have harsh chemicals that can cause metals to break down. We don’t recommend rubber gloves either because the friction can loosen stones and prongs. Best to remove jewelry altogether.
GARDENING – Losing jewelry in the garden is a nightmare! But more than that, gardening projects always expose your silver pieces to dirt, hard debris, and other rough materials. Rocks and sand can scratch the soft metal. Gardening tools don’t guarantee safety either. Bracelets can get caught and rings are prone to scratching.
BATH AND SHOWER – In addition to the dangers of sliding off into the drain, shampoo, conditioners, bath gels and the like leave a slimy film on the surface of most jewelry.
Remember, it’s better safe than sorry. These reminders above on how to clean sterling silver can keep your jewelry long-lasting and in pristine condition.
Got other tips we might have missed? We’re all ears! Comment your tips in the section below.
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