Most of us have sterling silver jewelry in our collection, either inherited from our grandmothers, mothers or the pieces we have chosen and purchased ourselves. What is so alluring about this material and color of jewelry is that it can easily be matched with various outfits and is suitable for different events. However, there is a question we have all been asking ourselves from time to time – does sterling silver tarnish?
The answer to this question is yes, it does. This is due to the fact that sterling silver consists of 92.5% of silver and 7.5% of other metals. These other metals, such as copper, cause your silver jewelry to rust. Copper reacts to moisture from the air, shower, deodorant, perfume, etc. making sterling silver jewelry tarnish. No matter how frustrating it might sound, do not let this put you off these amazing pieces of jewelry since there are easy and fast ways you can take care of your sterling silver jewelry collection.
How to clean sterling silver jewelry?
Here are a few tips on how to preserve jewelry in the best possible condition.
Store Your Jewelry Properly
Although we all often leave our jewelry on the nightstand or forget it in the bathroom after taking a shower, sterling silver jewelry should be stored in a dark place in your home. Keep your jewelry pieces away from heat, sun, and moisture. The best way is to place each sterling silver jewelry piece in a box or a plastic bag separately and not to store multiple jewelry pieces together. Not only does this decrease tarnish, but it also reduces scratching. Make sure you remove air from the plastic bag as this is what will additionally protect your sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing. In addition, you could also get some anti-tarnish paper strips and place these together with your stored jewelry in airtight plastic bags.
Keep Sterling Silver Jewelry Away from Moisture
You should not shower or bathe with your silver pieces. It is perfectly normal if you occasionally forget this rule and jump into a swimming pool wearing your silver jewelry, but try not to do it often. Moisture is one of the main reasons your sterling silver jewelry tarnishes. That is why you should remove your jewelry before taking a shower, swimming, going into a sauna, and a hot tub or spraying on deodorant, a perfume, a hairspray, etc. How long does it take for sterling silver to tarnish? It might take from a couple of months to a few years. This depends on both how well you take care of your sterling silver jewelry collection, but also if it is in contact with moisture and humidity.
Wipe Your Jewelry Off After Wearing It
Once you have had fun clubbing or at that great celebration, take your jewelry off and wipe it down using a soft dry cloth. This does not require a lot of time if your sterling silver jewelry does not show signs of tarnish or dirt. It will take you no more than a minute to perform this and then store your jewelry safely back to its container. Besides wiping off your jewelry, you might consider polishing it from time to time. For this purpose, you can use a special silver cloth, but also a microfiber or some other soft non-abrasive cloth. Be careful not to use harsher towels or tissues as their fibers could easily scratch the silver.
Clean It More Thoroughly
It is perfectly normal to start noticing some signs of tarnish on your sterling silver after a while. If wiping off the dirt and tarnish from your jewelry does not work, you could take the following how to clean sterling silver steps:
- Fill in a container with warm water and put a few drops of mild dishwashing soap,
- Put your sterling silver jewelry into the container and either uses your hands or a soft baby toothbrush to gently wash the pieces of jewelry,
- Use a cotton swab or a soft toothbrush to clean tight corners and reach any crevices,
- If your jewelry pieces have gemstones, beads or pearls, do not submerge them into water. In this case, it is better to use a cotton swab or a soft cloth with mild dishwashing soap to clean only the silver,
- Take the jewelry out from the container, rinse it thoroughly, wipe it down completely and carefully and let it air dry before storing it back to its box or bag. Do not forget that moisture is one of the biggest enemies of your sterling silver jewelry.
Avoid Contact with Harsh Substances
Many people recommend different rust removers, the most common of which are toothpaste and baking soda. Some have tried these and swear by them. However, you should be aware that these methods might discolor the silver and scratch the surface of your pieces of jewelry. In addition, a few people mention other even harsher chemicals such as acetone or bleach. Do not use these as in time they will damage the surface of your sterling silver jewelry. Furthermore, avoid exposure to perspiration, rubber, household chemicals or any substances containing sulfur such as eggs, mustard, mayonnaise, etc. as these also cause tarnish. Therefore, it is a good idea to take off your sterling silver jewelry when doing household chores.
Professional Care for Your Jewelry
Take your sterling silver jewelry to a professional jewelry repair in Miami to get them cleaned. This is always a good idea, especially if you have some older or more heavily tarnished sterling silver pieces of jewelry and you cannot or just do not have the time or the will to do it yourself. Pay extra attention to fragile or valuable jewelry pieces or the ones with stones, beads or pearls and consider taking these to a professional cleaner too.
Wear Your Jewelry
If you believe that the sterling silver jewelry is best kept properly and safely stored and not worn a lot, you are wrong. It is quite the opposite. Would you like to preserve your jewelry in the best possible condition? Then you should wear them all the time.
Does sterling silver rust? Yes, it does. Does that mean you should not wear it? No, it does not.
In fact, the oils in your skin keep your jewelry from tarnish and make it look shiny. Just make sure you follow some of the precautionary steps mentioned above and your sterling silver jewelry will look great and last for generations. Would you like to keep a professional, business-like look when going to a job interview or work, and yet add something special to your appearance? Go for a subtle sterling silver piece of jewelry.
If you are getting ready for a date or a birthday celebration, make sure you wear jewelry for this occasion as well. When contemplating buying a special gift for a family member or a friend, sterling silver jewelry is yet again a great idea. Purchasing it from a reputable jewelry company and taking care of it properly will provide you with timeless sterling silver jewelry pieces. Whether it is for you or you are considering buying an exquisite piece of jewelry for your family member or friend, sterling silver is always a good idea. After all, what lady doesn’t like receiving a beautiful piece of jewelry?
It’s sad but true – even gold can lose its shine. Years of wear and tear, improper storage, moisture, humidity, deodorants, and hairspray – these are all factors that lead to your favorite gold jewelry becoming a bit duller, a bit blacker, a bit more tarnished. Luckily, you’ll never reach the point of no return!
How to clean gold jewelry is a simple enough question to answer. Regular cleaning will keep your jewelry brilliant and beautiful, and you won’t have to take it all the way to the jewelers – you can do it on your own! Here’s how.
4 ways to clean your gold jewelry
1. Use a jewelry cleaner
Many professionals use something called “an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner.” Lately, it’s become available to everyone! An ultrasonic cleaner means that your jewelry will be cleaned by water or a cleaning solution and tens of thousands of ultrasonic energy waves per second.
When using this type of a cleaner, make sure to follow the instructions carefully to get the best results. The cleaning will usually last anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes; you should heat the water or cleaning solvent, and the load you put in the cleaner should be somewhere less than the weight of half the volume of the water you’re using.
2. Water and detergent
While a gold jewelry cleaner may give you the best results with the minimum amount of effort, why not go the extra mile and do it all on your own!
A simple way to maintain the beauty of your gold jewelry is to mix some dishwashing liquid in a bowl of warm (never hot!) water, soak your gold jewelry in it for 10 to 15 minutes, then use a toothbrush to wipe the dullness off in a light, delicate, and gentle motions. Rinse in warm water, and dry it off with a clean, soft cloth.
3. Use a drop of ammonia
Another way of cleaning gold jewelry at home is to use water and just a drop of ammonia. Be careful! Ammonia is strong and can be abrasive – use it rarely and only for deep cleaning – never use it if your gold piece has delicate gemstones, pearls, and platinum.
You need only a half of tablespoon of ammonia in a bowl. Then, add a half a glass of water, and mix properly. Soak your gold in the mixture for no more than a minute! Then remove with tongs or strainers. To rinse off your gold jewelry, hold it under running water and make sure to be thorough. Finally, dry your gold jewelry with a soft cloth.
4. Use vinegar
Vinegar – the almighty all-purpose cleaner – can be used if you want to add some light and brightness to your jewelry. All you need to do is pour some white vinegar in a bowl, soak your gold jewelry so that it’s completely under the vinegar for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Dry your gold jewelry by patting a clean soft cloth against it.
What to avoid when cleaning gold jewelry
Remember, gold is a soft metal! Any time you brush your jewelry or even dry it, be very gentle.
You also need to keep in mind that certain substances should always be avoided. You should avoid soap, especially the ones with unknown ingredients. When showering or washing the dishes, remove your gold jewelry to minimize chances of tarnish.
Chlorine should also always be avoided. When at a high temperature, chlorine with permanently discolor or even damage your gold jewelry, so always remove it before enjoying a hot tub.
We hope we’ve helped you keep your gold looking as brilliant as the day you got it! If you’re looking for a new piece, or you want to repair a favorite, or even get a custom design made, drop by one of our stores – we’ll be happy to help!
Do you have a ton of old jewelry that you don’t really use or wear anymore? Are you unsure of what to do with all of this extra, currently unused jewelry? Perhaps you have obtained a bunch of vintage jewelry from your family, thrift shop or swap meet that aren’t exactly up to your taste or style? Well, there is no need to worry! You won’t have to let it sit unused or sell it for cheap just to recoup some value for some beautiful jewelry that doesn’t quite fit your personal style or taste. There are numerous ways to breathe new life into vintage jewelry items so that they can start matching your particular needs and desires. Let’s show you a few ways to restore and repurpose your old vintage jewelry here! Luckily for you, you won’t need to own a Cuban jewelry store or jewelry repair shop to do a lot of this repurposing yourself.
Try turning old sets of silverware into cupboard handles
Who said that all jewelry needs to be worn? Sometimes we have fine dining items that we don’t want to damage by using but also are too sentimental and beautiful to sell or never use. Luckily, with the use of a rubber mallet and drill, you won’t need a jewelry repair shop to fix this issue for you. You can flatten the ends of a vintage spoon or fork, drill some holes into the ends and repurpose your fine silverware into beautiful, unique handles for your cupboards and cabinets. You can also…
Make unique pendants from old keys and sets of silverware
Another wonderful way to restore fine dining silverware is by cutting them to an appropriate pendant size with a jewelry saw and then drilling holes in the ends so that necklaces and chains can be attached to them. You can make fantastic, one of a kind jewelry by adorning these pendants with shiny beads and semi-precious stones.
In a similar fashion, you can attach beads or stones to old house keys to make pendants as well.
Beautiful bookmarks with your earrings
You can whip up a few uncannily unique bookmarks by attaching old, unused earrings to strips of velvet. Use the velvet strip as the actual bookmark and allow the earring to hang on the outside of the book gorgeously.
Transform old costume jewelry, buttons and hairpins into unique hair decorations
Do you have a lot of single buttons or costume jewelry lying around? Well, now they can be used to hold your hair down in style! All you have to do is get a bobby pin (or a ponytail holder) and glue the buttons or costume jewelry onto it. These extremely cost-effective hair decorations will be cheaper and more beautiful than any pre-made decorations you can buy yourself. You won’t need to pay a jewelry repair service to do it for you either.
Transform vintage plates and china into beautiful wall decorations
Many of us have china and vintage plates that we are afraid to damage by consistently using and eating off of. So why don’t we show off their beauty in another way? Vintage plates and china can be easily shown off when displayed against the wall, attached simply to a wall hook or plate hanger. This can be a perfect idea if you have a lot of wall space to cover.
Hopefully, these ideas help make it a lot easier to start bringing your vintage pieces and jewelry out of storage and back into use. Amazingly, you can easily work on these ideas yourself without the use of a jewelry repair service. However, if you still need more help with your jewelry game, please stop by our Cuban jewelry shop Santayana. It would be our pleasure to help you find new uses for your old jewelry!