Why does sterling silver tarnish? How can I prevent my silver jewelry from discoloring?
You're curious about the why and how come your silver jewelry goes from beautiful to "dirty" and how can I prevent it from tarnishing?
This quick read will provide you with the knowledge and how to care for and prevent discoloration of your silver jewelry.
First, the why?
Why does it tarnish?
Or get that muddy, dirty look?
That tarnished look that dulls the color and beauty and luster of silver jewelry.
Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, primarily copper.
- The copper reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air, causing the tarnishing or discoloration.
- Silver also tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution.
- The lotions we use on our body, the perfume and hairspray, sun tan lotion, etc. those don't help our jewelry maintain its luster either.
So, what can you do?
All jewelry requires cleaning to maintain its shine and splendor.
A fantastic way to clean sterling silver is with a soft cloth or a jewelry cloth. This is our go-to product, and it will last for years. We suggest buying only one, it is fantastic.
Just wipe your piece of jewelry down after wearing it to clean off any natural occurring skin oils or sweat.
Another wonderful alternative to keeping your jewelry sparkling clean is to buy a liquid jewelry cleaning solution and dip it in there from time to time, but be sure to rinse and dry your pieces before putting them away.
Other people recommend a soapy "bath" for your pieces and then to follow up with a gentle cleaning using a cotton ball of q-tip.
We have found, after years and years of selling silver jewelry that the best way to prevent tarnishing is really in how you store your jewelry.
It is best kept in an air-tight storage bag that limits the exposure to air. A small jewelry bag with a "ziploc" closure is ideal.
Here's a short video to show you how to store your jewelry correctly.
And the BEST-- how to PREVENT KNOTS!
If you've found these tips useful, or have another suggestion leave us a comment below. We love hearing from you!