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How to care for your silver jewellery to keep it looking shiny and new

Updated: Jan 11



I've had a few customers reach out for advice on caring for silver jewellery and I thought you might be curious too! Silver will naturally tarnish over time, but how you care for it will help to keep it shining bright for as long as possible.



Things to avoid

Keep your silver jewellery out of direct contact with perfume, solvents (such as nail polish remover), rubber, uncoated wood and newspaper. Contact with air pollution and sulphurous foods can also cause silver to tarnish prematurely. Skin acidity can also speed up this process, which isn't something you can control but is worth being aware of.

Cleaning

Wash pieces in warm, soapy water after use. Be especially thorough if they come in contact with foods containing sulphides, such as eggs, salt, salad dressings, garlic or tomatoes. To remove the tarnish, use a silver polishing cloth. For a brighter polish, follow one of these methods:

The Detergent Method

You will need:

Mild dish detergent

Soft sponge or soft toothbrush

Microfibre towel or cloth

Polishing cloth

1. Fill a bowl with warm water, enough to fully cover the silver.

2. Add detergent and mix.

3. Place silver items in the bowl. Use a soft sponge or toothbrush to gently scrub off dirt and tarnish. Don't allow them to soak for too long to prevent water spots.

4. Take each piece out individually and run it under water to rinse off the soap.

5. Use a dry microfibre towel or cloth to dry the silver, making sure you don't miss any cracks and crevices.

6. Dry off your piece before giving it a polish with a silver polishing cloth.

The Aluminium Foil Method

You will need:

Aluminium foil

Baking soda

Salt

White vinegar

Tongs

Polishing cloth

1. Cover the interior of a heat safe bowl with aluminium foil, shiny side up.

2. Add to the bowl 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 a cup of white vinegar and mix the solution until all dissolved.

3. Pour in enough boiling water into the mixture to cover your silver items and stir.

4. Use tongs to carefully place your silver items into the bowl. Allow the silver to sit for about 5 minutes before turning your silver and waiting 5 more minutes.

5. Carefully pick out your silver and dry it off. Let it sit for a moment to cool before polishing the piece with a silver polishing cloth, focussing on previously tarnished areas to make sure they are completely clean.


Storage

Store silver away from uncoated wood, rubber (even rubber bands) and newspaper. Please don't wrap your jewellery in newspaper! Instead, wrap your jewellery individually in a silver polishing cloth, muslin cloth, or acid-free archival-quality tissue paper before popping it in an anti-tarnish box.


But what's an anti-tarnish box? It could be an anti-tarnish jewellery box (like the ones that Ruth Evenhuis Designs pieces come in), an acid-free cardboard box or a coated wooden box. If you don't have access to any of these, the next best option is to store your jewellery individually in plastic zip bags, making sure to get rid of any extra air before sealing.


 

A touch of TLC is all your silver jewellery needs to maintain its fresh-out-of-the-box shine!


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