Silver jewellery does tarnish over time but there are several things you can do to make sure your jewellery stays beautiful for longer and make the job of cleaning jewellery easier.
First of all you should store your jewellery separately so they do not scratch one another. Secondly you should store your jewellery in a dark and airtight space. Use a jewellery box, soft pouch or zip locked plastic bag.
Silver emits sulphur which is part of the tarnishing process but you have several options to absorb this. You can buy tarnish absorbing cloths and anti tarnish strips that you can cut out and put in each jewellery box. The strips will last for ½-1 year and the cloth can last for years.
Another cheaper option is to put in a piece of chalk or one of the little moisture absorbent bags you find when purchasing shoes, bags and so on. They will last for a couple of months so they do need to be changed more often but is cheaper/free.
When you purchase something where one of the little moisture absorbent bags are included save the bag in a plastic bag until you need it so it does not absorb any moisture beforehand. But most people don’t really do much to absorb the sulphur so don’t worry if you think this is too much hassle.
It is also possible to buy tarnish resistant jewellery boxes. But a lot of them have been chemically treated and therefore have a chemical layer that will wear off in time. The chemicals are transferred to your jewellery and thereby your skin. You could be allergic to these chemicals and none of us really want to be in contact with chemicals if we do not have to. But some boxes are safe to use.
Humidity, makeup, perfume, lotions and so on also tarnish our silver jewellery so make sure to take off your jewellery before showering and not to put them back on before you have applied lotion, done your hair and put on that lovely perfume. To make your jewellery stay pretty for longer you should wipe them clean of makeup, lotion, skin oils and so on before putting them back in the box.
All the products we use daily can build up a very dull surface on the jewellery that is difficult to remove. But strangely enough then the best remedy avoiding your jewellery to tarnish is to wear it. The more you wear it the longer it takes to tarnish.
Silver jewellery will need cleaning from time to time. If it is a shiny piece I use a soft cloth made for polishing. The one I use right now have been purchased in Coles and is working fine for me. If it is a matt piece I use an old soft toothbrush, detergent and warm water. I have heard that some detergents can leave residue on silver but so far I have not come across one. This method is also possible to use on the shinier pieces but be careful not to scratch it. Moving the toothbrush back and forth in straight motions is safer and less visible than circular movements.
You can buy a chemical liquid you put your jewellery into at it turns bright and shiny on its own. You just need to rinse and dry with a soft cloth afterwards. BUT if you like me aren’t crazy about chemicals there is another easy trick to make your own. Cover the inside of a bowl with alfoil and add salt and boiling water. When the salt has been dissolved you can put in your jewellery and leave it there for a couple of minutes. Not longer. Then you rinse and dry and it should be all shiny again.
If your jewellery have been damaged or tarnished so much you are not able to clean it yourself you can always contact a jeweller/jewellery artist who will be able to help in many cases. They can often remove scratches and redo the surface but be aware this is the pricy option, not always possible and you cannot keep on doing this again and again so take good care of your jewellery.
Well this is how I take care of my jewellery. Remember I’m not educated within this field so whether you choose to follow my advise or not is up to you and at your own risk.