Are you as obsessed with sterling silver jewelry as much as we are? Are you all about its brilliant shine, incredibly versatile look, and just straight-up glamour?
Whether you’re a timeless jewelry fan or keeping up with the hottest trends, we’re just as wild about stunning accessories as you are.
While buying beautiful jewelry is fun and exciting, nothing ruins the mood more than lackluster tarnish. For this reason, most of us dread the cleaning process and fear that our silver is forever ruined.
But, not to worry! We’re here to show you that sterling silver care is easy, quick, and convenient. You just need to know the right tricks and techniques.
1. KNOW THE DIGITS
Sterling silver jewelry often comes with .925 or 92.5 label in it. The label or stamp 925 indicates the composition of silver in the jewelry. Meaning Sterling silver jewelry is composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% hardening metal like copper. We advise you to check the label/stamp while you purchase to check the authenticity of the jewelry.
Since fine silver is very soft and malleable, sterling silver is quite popular for fashion jewelry due to its better finish and strength. However there is a chance of tarnishing due to presence of other metals. Remember, with proper care and knowledge of your jewelry, your piece can last a lifetime and beyond.
2. DRY SILVER IS HAPPY SILVER
Interesting fact: pure water by itself doesn’t damage sterling silver, but most of the water we’re exposed to in our daily lives is not purified. Chemicals and contaminants in the water can result in tarnished and dull looking silver, so it’s best to know what’s what when it comes to water.
- Shower. It’s not a great idea to shower with your jewelry on, but once in a while isn’t going to do any lasting damage. Just make sure to dry it after.
- Swimming Pool. Take your silver off. Chlorine is a pretty harsh chemical, so if you accidentally forget to remove your silver jewelry before hopping in, make sure to rinse and clean it afterward.
- Hot Tub. Same idea as the swimming pool, butthere’s even more chlorine in the hot tub and the heat can accelerate the chemical reaction.
- Hot Springs. The sulfur in natural hot springs will wreak havoc on your silver. Unless you’re going for that “dark oxidized” look, avoid at all costs.
- Bonus Tip: Chemicals in lotions and perfumes can also cause your jewelry to tarnish. Apply them first, let them dry, and then put your jewelry on. This alone can make a HUGE difference in your silver’s luster.
3. MAINTAIN PROPER STORAGE
If you leave a fancy car out in the rain, what happens? It gets dirty! The similar principle applies to sterling silver care. You need appropriate storage for your stunning pieces. And, you need to be diligent about maintenance.
Air exposure can wreck havoc by tarnishing your delicate silver. Don’t just leave it lying on your nightstand or in an open jewelry chest. And, don’t just leave it in your purse or drawer!
It’s best to store silver in individual, air-tight bags with anti-tarnish properties. These types of bags keep air exposure out, and keep the shininess and brilliance intact.
Unclasp and unhook the jewelry to avoid potential scratching. Do NOT bunch several pieces in the same bag to save time or space. This can create tangling, scratching, tarnish, and that is exactly what we are trying to avoid here!
Finally, if you are traveling with your jewelry (because we know you want to look glamorous when in paradise), be sure to use a special case for protection! The last issue you want to deal with on vacation is scratched-up jewelry, right?
4. KNOW WHEN TO TAKE OFF YOUR JEWELRY
Yes, we know how much you love your gorgeous ring or bracelet. And, we know it can be hard to take those babies on and off again. But, it’s critical, and here’s why.
Strong chemicals, sulfur, sweat and perspiration, chlorine, and harsh sunlight can tarnish and corrode the brilliant shine you love in your silver.
Don’t take your chances. Preventative care is significantly easier than dealing with damaged jewelry!
It is optimal to remove jewelry during the following times:
- Household chores, such as dishes, laundry, and when using cleaning supplies
- When exercising, at the gym, or playing contact sports
- When showering or bathing
- Swimming, hot tubs, or saunas
- Very hot places (such as when lying out at the beach or pool)
- When getting ready (i.e: putting on lotion, makeup, hair products)
- Preparing, cooking, or eating foods that contain sulfur (this includes eggs and mayonnaise).
- Outside chores or tasks, such as gardening
Preventative care is ALWAYS easier than aftercare!
5. CLEAN IT WELL
Silver is delicate, and, despite our best efforts, it can still get dirty. Fortunately, sterling silver care can be as easy as a fast rubdown.
To do this, use a simple microfiber cloth or special jewelry cloth (not paper towels or toilet paper) to clean your jewelry. You can also rub the surface gently with mild detergent water and let it dry.
And, that’s it! Easy, right?