Silver Jewelry Cleaning Techniques
Imagine: you’re going out for a special meal. You’ve picked the ideal outfit, shoes, and makeup. You go to add your favorite piece of silver jewelry as a finishing touch, yet you open your jewelry box to discover it’s shrouded in awful brown and black tarnish, rendering it unwearable. What now?
While you can eliminate silver tarnish easily enough, doing so the wrong way or with the wrong items can cause more tarnish or – surprisingly more terrible – cause damage to your jewelry.
Thankfully learning how to clean silver jewelry is easier than you think and it only requires a couple of tools and strategies. Once you’ve learned the cycle, cleaning your favorite silver pieces will become routine, and you won’t be stunned at opening your jewelry box to a tarnished necklace again.
Continue to read to learn all about how to clean your silver jewelry properly to expand the existence of your favorite pieces and be able to appreciate wearing them at whatever point you like.
This guide is specifically about cleaning silver jewelry.
What is Silver Jewelry tarnish?
According to Wikipedia, tarnish is a result of a chemical reaction between a metal and a non-metal compound, most commonly oxygen and sulfur dioxide, which forms a metal oxide (and some of the time metal sulfide or chloride) on the metal.
Fortunately, normal tarnish on silver is not corrosive and the metal underneath the oxide layer ought to be okay. However, silver can also tarnish from openness to chlorine and acids which may potentially be more damaging to the metal, including causing pits to appear.
Tarnish can appear as a yellow, brown, black, or gray coating on the surface of your silver jewelry, which is in some cases quite patchy. Sterling silver tarnishes more easily than unadulterated silver because of its copper content and this tarnish is probably going to be more noticeable and darker in color. However, even unadulterated (or fine) silver can foster a matte gray oxide on its surface after some time.
Most jewelry is made with sterling silver or similar alloys because unadulterated silver is generally too soft to be made into jewelry. However, you may possess sterling silver jewelry which has had unadulterated silver plating applied to its surface, which can assist with slowing down tarnishing.
How Silver Jewelry tarnishes
Tarnish appearing on your silver jewelry is normal. Indeed, even the best silver jewelry tarnishes, so don’t assume the issue is related to the quality of your jewelry or it not being made of real silver. Regardless, tarnish indicates that it is silver!
At the point when silver is presented to gases in the air – especially sulfur – it discolors and darkens as it reacts with the gas to form a layer of tarnish on the surface. A similar cycle can happen when silver is presented with an array of other chemicals.
Many things in your everyday life can cause your silver to tarnish. These include:
Silver tarnish is almost difficult to avoid, yet there are a lot of factors that can make it more or more subtle and happen more or less rapidly. Fortunately, you can make a major distinction in how bad the tarnish gets and you can clean your silver to bring it back to its sparkling best.
How to clean silver jewelry
There is more than one way to clean silver jewelry. Your decision of technique will rely heavily on how tarnished the piece is, what materials you have on hand, and how careful you want to be.
Assuming that you purchased your silver jewelry online, actually, take a look at the manufacturer’s care instructions. They may also sell jewelry cleaning items that are safe for their silver pieces.
Whichever cleaning technique (or combination) you choose, make sure you have at least two separate delicate materials on hand: at least one for cleaning and one for drying. The kinds of clothes you might use to clean glasses or a mirror are probably going to work well (microfibre clothes and similar are great).
Having some great quality absorbent kitchen towels on hand is also useful as the towels will easily wipe up water from rinsing your jewelry, making it a lot easier to finish drying with the soft drying fabric you have saved. We also prescribe having a soft-bristled brush to help get into troublesome areas and to eliminate debris. To guarantee you’re organized to clean your jewelry at whatever point it’s required, we recommend setting up a little kit that is easily accessible and has all the tools and chemicals you may require.
So here are our recommended cleaning techniques, from least invasive to most. You might only have to utilize one of them or conceivably a combination. We should get cleaning.
Soap and water
Okay, so this step definitely won’t eliminate any tarnish from your jewelry, yet starting your cleaning cycle with a delicate, sans-fragrance soap (fluid castile soap is our favorite) weakened in warm water is strongly suggested. It will assist with removing residue and grime, not only making your jewelry look better yet additionally making it a lot easier to eliminate the tarnish lurking underneath the grime.
Utilize your soft cleaning fabric to clean the silver in the solution. You can also utilize a soft-bristled brush if necessary, yet be careful not to scrape or scratch the surface, especially with shiny pieces. You might get a kick out of the chance to return your pieces to the soap and water solution at the finish of your cleaning interaction to assist with removing any chemical buildup abandoned.
Always be certain that your final step with any cleaning interaction is thoroughly rinsing your jewelry with clean water to eliminate soap buildup and any other chemicals. Then dry your pieces rapidly and well with a soft material. Don’t worry: I’ll nag you about this again later!
Having a decent quality silver dip on hand for your sterling silver jewelry is enthusiastically suggested. For lighter tarnish, it will often do the stunt rapidly and easily, however, on the off chance that your jewelry is more heavily tarnished, we suggest considering the electrochemical cleaning technique or silver polish as your starting point (see below).
Using silver dip will rapidly eliminate tarnish from your silver using a chemical cycle. For lighter tarnish, it generally works in under a minute. It will also eliminate tarnish from crevices that are difficult to reach with a fabric or soft brush. For this reason, it may be smart to finish with a silver dip after more heavy cleaning techniques to clean the areas you can’t otherwise reach.
Be certain to adhere to the instructions given regarding the particular silver dip you have on hand. It’s essential to thoroughly rinse the chemicals from the metal or you may find the silver tarnishes more rapidly in the future because of a buildup from the dip remaining behind.