From casual wear to glamorous events, sterling silver jewelry has become a stylish and versatile fashion accessory. However, without proper care, those sterling silver pieces can go from sparkly and shiny to dull and tarnished over time. Here are some tips to help you keep your sterling silver jewelry looking like new.
Storage – Keep it Dry
Sterling silver can tarnish when exposed to moisture and oxygen. Here is how you should store it:
- Store it in a dark, low humidity area. (Do not use bathrooms for storage)
- Store it in an airtight bag.
- Store pieces individually. (Prevents tangling and scratching too)
- Store with chalk, anti-tarnish strips, or silica packs (They help absorb moisture and sulfur)
When to Not Wear
Here are some tips to keep in mind for your daily wearing of sterling silver:
- Showering. (Water could contain chemicals and contaminants that could tarnish it over time.)
- Swimming. (Chlorine can speed up tarnishing)
- Cleaning. (Household cleaners and chemicals are not friendly to silver)
- Put it on last (Some lotions, hairsprays, and makeup can lead to tarnishing, so just wait and let them dry before wearing your jewelry)
The best way to clean your sterling silver is to polish it.
- Use a special jewelry cleaning cloth or a microfiber cloth. (Stick to these types of cloths to avoid abrasions)
- Polish in an up and down pattern, not circular. (Follow the grain of the silver, not doing so could worsen the tarnish)
- Use different areas of the cloth (This avoids spreading the tarnish around)
Cleaning II - When Polishing is not Enough
Sometimes your sterling silver is still left dull and lackluster after polishing. Here is a DIY method we swear by:
Simply place a layer of aluminum foil inside of a cup or pan. Lay your silver piece inside the aluminum foil and add a teaspoon of baking soda. Pour boiling over it, making sure the entire sterling silver piece is underwater. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Once the water is cool enough, take out your sterling silver piece and dry and polish it. You can add more baking soda if you are doing more pieces, just make sure the pieces are not touching.