We all love to keep our jewelry sparkling and shiny. With daily use it’s hard to keep up with cleaning jewelry and sometimes we may even forget to clean our rings and bracelets.
How to clean sterling silver jewelry? Below we have some tips for you and we’re excited to share! The wonderful quality about sterling silver jewelry is its bright shine and, for those who are into the vintage aesthetic, love the soft, tarnish appearance of sterling silver.
Tarnish occurs when silver is exposed to gases with sulfur. The reaction results in the silver getting darker and creates a dark layer on the surface. Tarnish is a completely natural phenomenon and it will occur no matter what.
But we don’t want that tarnish to get too out-of-control! It’s great to know how to get tarnish off jewelry. Without proper care, tarnish can cause jewelry to lose it’s natural sheen, hide detailed designs and textures. Let’s dive into keeping your sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing quickly.
5 Tips on How to Clean Silver Jewelry at Home
KNOW YOUR JEWELRY
There are many reasons sterling silver is stamped with .950 and .925 throughout your jewelry pieces. If you have jewelry with a rating of .950 it means your jewelry will need consistent polishing. However, .925 is a common rating and this requires less maintenance.
If you cannot locate the rating on your jewelry or if there is no label, have no fear! Take it to your trusted jeweler to be sure of your sterling silver jewelry. Having knowledge of the pieces that you wear will allow you lifetime maintenance to the jewelry that you love.
KEEP IT DRY
Just walked in from date night? About to knead dough for tonight’s dinner? Going to jump in the shower after brunch with friends?
Take off your jewelry right away! Yes, we’re serious. Always remove your sterling silver rings, necklaces, and any other jewelry you have on your body and store them away before you stick your hands in a bowl of dough, before you jump in the shower, even before you jump in the pool!
Any amount of contact with moisture will quicken the process of tarnishing. You may not be able to avoid the sudden rainstorm or the coffee spill when you tripped on the sidewalk, but at least you can prevent the predictable settings when taking care of your jewelry.
Most importantly, apply that perfume, let it dry, then put your jewelry on.
GIVE YOUR JEWELRY A HOME
Did you just toss your sterling silver earrings on the dresser next to your gold bracelets?! Stop right there! Your jewelry needs a little bit more love than that.
Since silver jewelry can tarnish in exposed air, keep your jewelry sealed in plastic bags and tuck them away in a jewelry box or a drawer. You can also wrap or cover your jewelry in silver tarnish cloth that you can purchase at fabric stores (buy as much as you need depending on the amount of sterling silver jewelry you have).
Speaking of moisture from the last tip, you’ll want to store your jewelry in a cool and dry place. Keep it away from the bathroom, keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid UV rays, and we highly recommend storing your jewelry in a box or drawer.
POLISH YOUR JEWELRY PRETTY WITH COMMON CLEANERS
If your jewelry is tarnished you can remove it with a few popular solutions. Tarnish-polishing cream or a simple cleaning solution product can easily clean your tarnished jewelry.
Or you can take your jewelry to your trusted local jewelers for a professional cleaning. But before you do that, check out our cool bonus down here..
POLISH IT PRETTY...WITH SOME STRANGE AT-HOME SOLUTIONS
Okay, this may be an odd tip (or maybe not if you’re already doing it; no judgement here), but we have several weird polishing tips that really work for sterling silver jewelry. Deep breath...here we go!
See? Told you it’d be weird. This lovable condiment can really help! Squirt a small amount on a paper towel and rub it gently over your ring or earrings. Let the ketchup sit for 15 minutes if the silver isn’t getting shinier fast enough. Then, rub it with a soft cloth and rinse it clean. If your jewelry has textured details, engravings, or detail designs, then use a toothbrush to clean between crevices.
Cleaning silver jewelry with aluminum foil
This one isn’t so weird and neither are the ones following after on this list. Bring four cups of water, one tablespoon of baking soda, and one piece of aluminum foil to a boil. Then drop your jewelry in a pot for 10 seconds or longer, if needed. Then remove using kitchen tongs or drain it in a strainer.
Clean with Vinegar
This is an incredibly versatile cleaning tool for almost anything. But for jewelry, you can soak it in ½ cup white vinegar mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda for up to three hours. Rinse under cold water, then dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Did you find a home for your sterling silver jewelry in a box or drawer? If you did, store a few pieces of chalk in the box or drawer to absorb moisture.
How to clean silver necklace with toothpaste? First, avoid gel toothpaste or whiteners. A classic toothpaste with baking soda will do the trink. Moisten a soft cloth with water and add a dime-sized amount of toothpaste onto the area. Then, rub your jewelry lightly until it’s polished.
Line a medium-sized bowl with aluminum foil and fill it with hot water. Then, mix in one tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent, then soak your jewelry for one minutes. Rinse it with clean water and air dry on a paper towel.
So there you have it! Proper care, maintenance, and love are necessary for all types of jewelry, no matter the metal. These methods will give you a deeper appreciation for the jewelry you place on your body. Most importantly, these methods provide a lifetime of care to your sterling silver jewelry, rings, bracelets, and more!