We have all had our wonderful sterling silver jewelry get tarnished, dull and just plain ratty looking. The good news is we can fix that and ensure that all of our genuine sterling silver pieces are always looking like the day we bought them.
First, let’s start with what sterling silver is comprised of in terms of which metals. It is an alloy of silver with 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, typically copper. Silver is the shiniest of the precious metals and care is required to maintain a shiny and mirror like finish.
Here are some tips of the trade to keep all of your beautiful sterling silver jewelry shiny and new.
- Use cleaning cloths designed for sterling silver pieces. It is usually a grey cloth which is microfiber and non-abrasive and you can use to rub lightly over the pieces. You will notice that the cloth may have some blackish discoloration after cleaning a piece and after time you will need a new cloth. These are available at Target and on websites like Amazon.
- A second option to clean is to use a cleaning paste. May be better for getting into the nooks and crannies of our fancy pieces. Not my favorite as this can get messy and is tedious. Online purchasing is the same as for the cleaning cloths.
- Polishing can be done by professionals which will avoid scratching the surface with the wrong polishing equipment. A jewelry repair store will be happy to take your silver and clean them for you for a price. It is inexpensive and ensures a professional job at this potentially messy task.
- Proper storage is probably the easiest and best way to keep your sterling silver jewelry from ever becoming tarnished or grey looking in the first place. You just have to remember to store your jewelry properly from the very beginning. At minimum store in separate jewelry bags. However, I find it is best to store in a plastic bag which is my favorite easy way to keep all things sterling silver beautiful. Simple sandwich or snack bags are great. Then store in your jewelry box. The key is to prevent air from coming into contact during storage. This is the real culprit which you can avoid.
You should consider ways to prevent damage to your sterling silver jewelry as well. Here are a few tips.
- Avoid bleach or ammonia-based solutions like most of the typical jewelry cleaning solutions. Unless labeled specifically for sterling silver don’t put your pieces in it.
- Also, another corrosive is salt. Just plain take off those rings before hand mixing that new meatloaf recipe that is full of salt.
Here a quick video that I found that describes how to clean your Sterling Silver jewelry as well!