What is Sterling Silver?
“Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925″ – Wikipedia
When oxygen or sulfur come in contact with silver, they chemically bond to its surface and cause the silver to appear dirty or discolored.
How to prevent tarnishing:
- The best way to prevent your sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing is to WEAR IT! You can avoid tarnish by wearing your silver jewelry regularly or if possible, daily. The oils on your skin will “clean” the silver and keep it looking shiny.
- Contact with household chemicals, perspiration, rubber, chlorinated water, or any substances which contain sulfur can tarnish silver, so it’s a good idea to remove jewelry when doing household chores. Direct sunlight also causes silver to tarnish, so be sure to take off your silver jewelry before you go swimming and sunbathing.
- Perfumes are also “enemies” of silver and will accelerate tarnishing. Try putting on your jewelry after using perfumes or not to avoid direct contact.
- When storing your jewelry make sure that the storage area has low humidity. You can also place a piece of chalk, a packet of activated charcoal, or a container of silica gel in the storage area to minimize tarnish.
What do I do if my Sterling Silver jewelry tarnishes?
Your silver jewelry has turned black or has tarnished? Calm down and please keep in mind that this is sterling silver, and even if it seems like the end of the world nothing is irreversible and all is fixable! (:
Most of our orders are equipped with a silver polishing cloth. Usually this gets the job done if the tarnishing is very mild.
We have provided you with some household tricks and tips to clean your silver jewelry right at home:
Soap & water: Warm water and a mild, ammonia- and phosphate-free dishwashing soap should be your first line of defense if the polishing cloth fails to remove tarnish.
A store bought silver cleaner: After using any cleaner, be sure to thoroughly rinse your silver with running water or a clean, damp cloth.
Baking soda & water: Make a paste of baking soda and water and use a clean cloth to apply a small amount to the silver. Use a toothbrush to get into the cracks and crevices. Run the silver piece or pieces under running warm water, and dry with a clean cloth.
Olive oil and lemon juice: Mix 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1 tsp. olive oil in a bowl large enough to hold the cleaning solution and a small microfiber cloth. Dip the cloth in the solution and wring it out so that it doesn’t drip, then polish the silver, rinse, and dry.
White vinegar and baking soda: Soak the tarnished piece in a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tbsp. baking soda (be prepared for the fizzing!) for two to three hours, then rinse and dry.
And the best recommendation we have for you as stated in the beginning:
“The best way to prevent your sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing or clean sterling silver that has already tarnished, is to WEAR IT!”
If your pieces are heavily tarnished and you don’t have the time to clean them, take them to a professional silver cleaner. They will get the job done in a jiffy!
Take care of your jewelry (:
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.