You might have heard of sterling silver before, and rightly so, as it is a versatile and common metal used for making jewelry. Due to its popularity, however, people tend to neglect the maintenance aspect of the metal, and so the metal often loses its luster and tarnishes. What's more, is that you may be wondering how this even happens. Off the jump, people wouldn't think such a reliable material could deteriorate over time, especially if it's not being worn or used.
Tarnished vs. Not tarnished
Nevertheless, tarnishing mainly occurs when the metal is exposed to oxygen and oxidative reactions occur due to the sulfur that is within the metal. Air pollution, high humidity levels, and physical contact with certain chemicals found in deodorant, hairspray, lotions, perfume, and bleach can all tarnish your sterling silver jewelry.
So with all this in mind, how can you prevent your silver jewelry from tarnishing?
Right over here! We have put together a list of seven tips regarding the maintenance and care of your sterling silver jewelry, so you can make sure they always look amazing and last for a lifetime!
1. The first tip is to remove any air or oxygen that is present near the metal. This can mean storing your jewelry in a Ziploc bag and making sure all the air is squeezed out before sealing it and storing it.
2. Make sure to keep the jewelry away from any sunlight or sun exposure when being stored.
3. You may not know this, but the properties of the chalk help it to absorb any nearby moisture and chemical residue. Because of this, they are often stored with jewelry as the chalk helps extend the life of the sterling silver that is used to make the jewelry.
4. This tip is another way you can eliminate moisture from your jewelry, and it is the use of silica bags. If you aren't familiar with them, it might help to know that they are put in almost all boxes of new shoes. They come in small white baggies with the word 'silica' usually labeled on them. Similar to how the chalk is used, place the silica bags near your jewelry when they are being stored away.
5. This should be obvious by now, but make sure that your silver jewelry is being stored most of the time, especially if you are not wearing them at the moment. Furthermore, you shouldn't shower or swim with them on as the chlorine and humidity won't do them any good.
6. When cleaning your silver jewelry, you should only clean it with wipes and polish. More specifically, silver wipes and jewelry polish.
Toothpaste and baking soda are good options too, but you must make sure to be very gentle and that the toothbrush bristles are soft or the cleaning process will only make it worse.
7. Last but not least, keep your jewelry away from chemically treated surfaces. Common examples of chemically treated surfaces can be attributed to most wooden tables. Any treated surface will be bad for the jewelry, due to its chemicals, and will speed up the tarnishing process if in contact for too long.
That concludes our 7 tips for maintaining your silver jewelry. We hope that you took something away from this and that your silver jewelry looks great for years to come!