|If you own or have owned some sterling silver jewelry, you probably know about silver tarnish, or silver “turning black”. It’s something that cannot be avoided with silver. It will happen eventually. Sterling silver tarnish happens because of a chemical reaction between the silver and the moisture and chemicals in the air. While you cannot completely avoid tarnishing, you can minimize it or prevent the silver from tarnishing too quickly. If you live in a high humidity area, you can use put a pack of silica gel into the plastic bag to help minimize tarnishing. There are also many options available for cleaning sterling silver jewelry that has tarnished.
First, how to slow down tarnishing. If your jewelry is already tarnished, there are many options available to clean it. There are commercial cleaners available, and also many homemade cleaners.
Commercial silver cleaners.
There are many commercial silver cleaners readily available in liquid or paste, and they do a great job at cleaning silver. However you have to be careful about what type of jewelry you use it on. I would recommend not using it on any jewelry that has some gemstones, unless you can prevent the chemical from touching the stone. The stones could be affected by the chemicals in the cleaner and be damaged, and this is especially true for soft stones like turquoise and pearls.
For pieces of jewelry that have been oxidized, a polishing cloth will help you clean without losing those intricate design details.
There are many polishing cloth or polishing pads available on the market. I like to use these ones from Rio Grande.
Besides commercial cleaners, there are many DIY options that you can use at home. Again, keep in mind that not all type of jewelry is suitable for homemade cleaners.
Homemade silver cleaner
You can make homemade cleaners at home with things you may already have. On top of that, they are more economical and environment friendly. Again, make sure you do not use these method on antique pieces or jewelry that have some stones that may be susceptible to damage.
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