Tired of Polishing Silver? 4 Tips to Keep Your Silver Sparkling Like New!
by Tawny Reynolds on Feb 18, 2016
Brace yourself for a sad story (and some tips to keep it from happening to you)...
You see the. most. beautiful. piece of jewelry in the store. The intricate detail is set off by the glinting silver, and it calls to you. You have to have it.Has this happened to you? It doesn’t have to! Here are some tips to keep your silver shining like new...
A few months later, you see it in your pile of jewelry on the dresser. The silver doesn’t glint whitely at you. In fact, it looks a little yellowish, and not in a gold kind of way. You say, "Oh, I better clean that before I wear it again. I’ll do it tomorrow." But tomorrow never comes.
Give it a while longer, and the dull yellowish coating has turned black in spots. Nobody would want to wear jewelry looking like that! So you don’t. And that piece that once called to you now sits dingily on your dresser, never getting worn.
This is my jewelry storage box - it's not classy, but it stops the airflow.
1. Store your silver jewelry in cool, dark conditions away from airUse an air-sealing box or bag such as a tarnish-resistant or zip top plastic bag (make sure the jewelry is dry before putting it in plastic). You know those little desiccant packets that come in pill bottles, etc? Add one of those or a piece of chalk, and it will help absorb any moisture.
Sulfur in humid air is the main culprit when it comes to tarnish, so keeping your jewelry sealed against moisture is especially important in humid climates. And that leads me to another one...
2. Keep it away from the steamy shower!As I just said, sulfur causes silver to tarnish, and it happens more quickly in humid air. So keep your jewelry in your bedroom rather than in the bathroom, especially if you don't have a bathroom fan.
3. Wear it!The oils in your skin help protect the silver and keep it from tarnishing. However, the same can’t be said for beauty products - lotions, hairspray, and perfumes will speed up the tarnishing process. So put your jewelry on last, after your hair and beauty products have dried.
4. DON’T wear it when cleaning, showering or swimming.Chlorine and other cleaning products will also cause tarnishing. And don’t think your DIY vinegar and lemon juice solutions are safe - while non-toxic to us, the acids will cause discoloration even more stubborn than typical tarnish.
(You'll have to believe me, these pieces are all fairly badly tarnished - you wouldn't believe how hard it is to photograph tarnish!)
Want to print or share these tips? I made a one-page pdf just for you!Get the tips
Sadly, tarnish usually happens eventually, no matter how careful you are. It happens to me as well - mostly because I’m not as careful as I should be in storing my jewelry when I’m not wearing it (that pile of tarnished jewelry on the dresser? That's me).
So in my next post, I’ll share a detailed guide to my FAVORITE tarnish-busting method. It’s non-toxic, doesn’t damage your jewelry (no matter what type of stones might be in it, unlike some dips on the market), and you’ll find everything you need right in your kitchen!
Update - here it is! My Go-To Silver Tarnish Remover: Easy, Non-Toxic, and DIY
And, if you're looking for some new silver jewelry check out my newest collection - Circular Motion! It's full of dynamic, swinging circles of glittering sterling silver and colorful pops of sun-melted glass!