925 Sterling Silver Maintenance
How to take care of 925 Sterling Silver
Sterling Silver is an alloyed metal, normally made of 92.5% pure silver and other metals. Sterling Silver is a popular metal because of its affordability and malleability, but it can tarnish because of its composition.
If you're looking at a piece of jewellery that is darkened or appears dirty, then your silver has tarnished; but, there's no need to neglect this piece or get rid of it!
Tarnish is simply the result of a chemical reaction with oxygen or sulfur particles in the air. With a few easy to follow tips, you can take care of your sterling silver jewellery and make it last for years to come!
Wear: You can avoid tarnish by wearing your jewellery often. The oils in your skin will "clean" the silver and keep it looking shiny.
Avoid exposure: Contact with household chemicals, perspiration, rubber, chlorinated water, or any other substances which contain sulfur will cause tarnish - so it's a good idea to remove silver jewellery when doing household chores. Direct sunlight also causes silver to tarnish, so be sure to take off your silver jewellery before you go swimming and sunbathing.
Lotions, cosmetics, hair spray, hairproducts and perfumes are also enemies of silver and will accelerate tarnishing. There's a reason generations of women have been getting dressed with jewellery last, as a finishing touch!
Storage: As exposure to air tarnishes it, storing silver in airtight plastic bags with anti-tarnish strips is a great preventive measure. Just make sure you don't store multiple jewellery pieces in the same bag: silver is a soft metal, so the individual pieces can scratch each other. If you can't use plastic bags, try to make sure that the storage area has low humidity. You can also place a piece of chalk, a packet of activated charcoal, or a container of silica gel in the storage area to minimize tarnish.
Simply polishing your silver works well when the tarnishing is not too severe. It's also the best method for cleaning oxidised silver. Silver is soft and can become scratched easily. You can use a special silver cloth to polish your items, but a lint free flannel, microfiber, or other nonabrasive cloth will do as well. Do not use paper towels or tissues to polish your jewellery as they contain fibers that can scratch the silver.
Sterling silver cleaning solotions are also available online. These specialist liquids can bring back its silver shine within a few seconds of sitting in the solution.