Silver is one of the most popular metals used because it is perfect for office wear or everyday wear. But even then, many think twice before buying it purely because of its ability to get tarnished easily - often developing into a, not so pretty black coat.
The good news is, that tarnish on your silver pieces is not permanent and when removed it can look as good as new. So don’t let the threat of tarnish stop you from buying beautiful pieces of silver jewellery. Here are five tips that will help you prevent your silver from tarnishing and what to do if it does.
WEAR IT RIGHT
Silver can tarnish easily, but the easiest way to prevent that from happening is shielding your silver pieces from chemicals as much as possible. That includes products you may use on a daily basis eg. lotions, perfumes, makeup and hair products etc. It isn't always possible but prevention can include for example, putting your silver jewellery on last and taking them off first. It is also important that you do not wear silver jewellery while swimming, doing dishes or having a shower.
STORE IT RIGHT
Tarnishing of silver jewellery is caused by exposure to the air. So to slow down this process, store your silver pieces correctly by wrapping each individual piece of silver in tissue, zip lock bags or air-tight containers. Silica packets are one of the most effective ways you can prevent tarnishing and are generally found in shoe boxes or with sunglasses to remove excess moisture - a stick of chalk works just as well instead if you don't have silica packets.
POLISH IT RIGHT
Silver is a very soft metal and can easily get scratched if you aren’t careful. Don’t try to remove tarnish with an abrasive cloth because this can just make things worse. Instead, search for soft anti-tarnish wipes that can work miracles against tarnish. These wipes are soaked in a solution that can absorb excess oxygen and sulphur from the air. Both oxygen and sulphur are like kryptonite for your silver. By preventing them from coming into contact with them, anti-tarnish wipes can keep your silver tarnish-free. However, these wipes are only effective as a preventative treatment. Once tarnish sets in, they won’t be able to do much to remove it. So to prevent your jewelry from getting tarnished in the first place, wipe it down regularly with anti-tarnish wipes.
Sometimes when pieces are too fragile, it's best to leave it to the professionals. Jewellery experts can sometimes be the only option if pieces are really tarnished. They have the professional equipment that can remove the extreme tarnish and restore your pieces to the sparkling silver it was before.
DIY CLEAN IT RIGHT
Commercial level jewellery cleaning products are effective but very pricey. Luckily, there are plenty of DIY remedies that work just as well! One of the best DIY tarnish hacks includes the use of aluminium foil, white vinegar and baking soda. For it to work bring water to a boil with a sheet of aluminium foil inside it, shiny side up. When the water has reached boiling point, add two tablespoons of baking soda and then drop your tarnished silver into the water. After roughly fifteen seconds (or more if the tarnish is bad), remove your silver pieces and dry it with a soft cloth. All shiny and ready for your next event!