Whether it’s silver jewelry or a silver salad spoon passed down from your great-great-grandmother, you want to prevent your silver from tarnishing. You want to care for and respect the piece of silver, and the following are a few simple ways to do just that.
You can slow down the tarnishing of silver by cleaning it after every use. This is mainly for silver jewelry, but it’s also good to remember for touched pieces. The oils from our skin can contaminate the surface of the silver. This causes it to oxidize and tarnish.
Wash it in warm water, and afterward, completely dry it with a soft cloth. The key is making sure the silver is dry.
Make sure to limit the number of harmful substances your silver encounters. Do not wear silver jewelry while cooking, exercising, cleaning, or even taking a shower or bath. Avoid wearing wool if you are wearing a silver necklace because wool produces oils.
Latex is another material your silver jewelry shouldn’t encounter. Make sure to apply all makeup, perfume, and hair products before putting on any silver.
Correctly Storing Silver
Silver begins to tarnish as soon as it’s exposed to air. You can use sealable plastic bags to store pieces individually or wrap or cover them with a silver tarnish cloth.
Don’t allow the jewelry to interact with other types of metal jewelry. Be sure to store in a cool, dry environment and avoid UV rays. Be aware of how close it’s being kept to a bathroom because humidity levels are also harmful to silver.
Silver items are sometimes plated as prevention against tarnishing. This process is called flashing, and it’s only a temporary fix because the coating eventually wears off. You can get the items re-plated if needed to continue preventing your silver from tarnishing.
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent silver from tarnishing forever. It will eventually happen, and when it does, here are a few ways to clean it. You can purchase products such as tarnish-polishing cream or silver polishing cloths that will help clear it up. A few other household items that work as well include:
- Window cleaner
- Hand sanitizer
- Hair conditioner
- Lemon-lime soda
If the piece seems heavily tarnished, it may take a few tries to eradicate the tarnish.
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