So, your beautiful sterling silver jewelry has been sitting tucked away in a box, and you pull it out and find that it’s now tarnished. How does this happen? It can be daunting when trying to figure out how to get rid of tarnish on silver. There’s a lot of things that can cause it. Don’t worry– once you learn how to clean silver the right way, you can restore your favorite silver pieces of jewelry to new again.
Where Does Tarnish Come From?
Where does all this tarnish come from, anyway? It’s simple: science. Tarnish is a chemical reaction between your silver and elements in the environment. There are many different ways this can happen.
It can be from the air– humidity reacts with your silver and causes it to tarnish. The water in the air will slowly cause this reaction over time. The more moisture your silver is exposed to, the quicker the tarnish will build up.
Chlorine and copper can affect your silver jewelry too. The small copper in your sterling silver will react with oxygen over time, which will also cause tarnish. Maybe keep your sterling silver away from the pool this summer and polish your silver regularly so you can keep it shiny and new.
Sulfur is another element that causes tarnish. It can come from many different places– sometimes it’s as simple as eating some foods high in sulfur (like onions or eggs), or using a certain soap. Check the ingredients and you might find the culprit that’s causing your silver jewelry to darken. Sometimes it’s as simple as an individual person’s personal acidity levels in their skin.
Another way your jewelry can become tarnished is when you clean your silver in water that contains sulfur. This method of cleaning silver can actually make you have to clean your jewelry more. Once you know how to polish silver the right way, you can avoid these mistakes.
How Do I Prevent Tarnish On My Silver Jewelry?
One easy (and fun) way to prevent tarnish on your silver jewelry is simply to wear it. That’s right– use this method to keep your beautiful jewelry shiny, just by showing it off. The natural oils from your skin will keep your sterling silver looking like new. As long as you keep it clean and away from some easy reactants, it will continue looking great.
Another easy way to save yourself the trouble of tarnished silver is to keep your silver someplace where it can’t be affected by moisture in the air. One easy thing you can do is leave silica gel packets in your jewelry case, because they absorb moisture from the air. You probably have some of these lying around from old shoe boxes. Make sure you don’t wrap your silver in tissue– the acids in tissue paper may react, too.
Although there are ways to prevent tarnish or slow down the process, it does happen from time to time, and there are many different factors that cause it. It’s good to learn how to get rid of tarnish on silver like a pro so that you can make your silver jewelry look as good as new.
How to Get Rid of Tarnish On Silver
So, how do you remove tarnish? Even though there are all kinds of ways that your silver can become tarnished, it’s very easy to get rid of it again. Many different factors will contribute to tarnishing your silver, and you probably can’t eliminate them all. Don’t worry, it’s not a permanent problem. There’s a simple, easy method to keep your jewelry looking amazing.
Luckily, it’s actually very simple to clean your smooth-surface silver with a polishing cloth. This method is by far the easiest way to make your silver shiny and lustrous again. A polishing cloth is a soft cloth with a built-in cleaner that wipes away the tarnish. You don’t have to be an expert on silver cleaning to make your jewelry look like new.
Depending on how much tarnish is on your jewelry, just use enough pressure to remove all of the marks. You can rub it until the layer of tarnish is removed. You’ll know when it’s clean again when the shiny side is looking just like the day you got it. The cloths are safe to use and, as long as you store it in an airtight glass or plastic container, the polishing compound will be able to be used over and over again.
Your cloth will have black marks, which is just fine– it’s ready to be used again, as soon as you need it. This just means that all the tarnish is coming off of your jewelry and onto the polishing cloth. It won’t make the cloth any less effective, or transfer the color to anything else.
Polishing cloths are the best method for cleaning your smooth silver jewelry because they are very effective– a single polishing cloth from Champion will last you longer than an entire gallon of silver cleaner. Just keep the cloth handy to keep your jewelry (and you!) looking the best. Once you learn how to clean silver, and keep polishing your silver, it will keep looking great every time you want to wear it.
A good routine is to polish your silver jewelry after every time you wear it. When you remove your silver jewelry, wipe it with your polishing cloth and store it somewhere dry. Keep up these habits to keep your sterling silver shining. Using this method to clean your jewelry regularly will not only remove tarnish that’s built up over time, but will help prevent it from happening in the first place.
Once you know how to get rid of tarnish on silver, it becomes a lot less frustrating when it comes time to clean your silver items. Life happens, and tarnish happens. It’s easy to clean silver and keep up its quality when you learn the basics about your silver. Just keep your jewelry in a dry place, keep a polishing cloth on hand, and wear it often. It’s easy to do and keeps you and your silver jewelry looking great.