Caring for Silver Jewellery-How to Prevent Silver Jewellery from Tarnishing
Silver jewellery is typically made of sterling silver, which is more than 90% pure silver with various other metals. Compared to gold, sterling silver is much more affordable, and it has good malleability. However, silver may tarnish easily and have darkened appearance over time. This could happen due to reactions with oxygen in the air and certain elements, especially sulphur-based compounds.
With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some ways to keep your silver jewellery tarnish-free:
Keep Away from Chemicals- salty solutions and sulphur-based chemicals may cause corrosion of your sterling silver. Toiletries and other home products could affect your sterling silver jewellery as well. This means that you should never shower or take a bath while wearing sterling silver, because soap could lead to quick tarnishing. Make sure to remove your silver rings or bracelets before doing dishes or other household cleaning. If you are about to do any physical exercise or outdoor chores, remove silver pieces, because salt and other minerals in sweat may cause tarnishing.
Store Properly- there are some important rules for storing your silver jewellery. The most important thing is to place your silver jewellery inside a container that protects against humidity, air, and sunlight. Airtight boxes can prevent slow oxidation if you want to store the jewellery for a long period of time. Make sure to put some silica gel packs inside the airtight box to absorb any excess moisture.
Wear Regularly- wearing your sterling silver jewellery could keep it from tarnishing if you take care of it properly. However, you need to wipe it off each day and wrap it in a soft cloth to minimise oxidation. It’s recommended to polish your jewellery each week, so it will maintain a perfect shine.
Plate It With Rhodium- if you have valuable silver jewellery, you should consider plating it with rhodium. The outer rhodium layer will prevent tarnishing and your jewellery will sparkle longer. However, it’s not a permanent solution because the rhodium layer will wear off and you will need to re-plate your silver jewellery every few years.
Wash Regularly- if regular wiping can’t remove the tarnish, it’s time to wash your jewellery. Avoid using toothpaste because it contains ingredients that may cause blemishes. Mix baking soda powder and water. Apply the paste on the jewellery and rub it gently. If your jewellery is heavily tarnished, you may need a stronger solution by mixing two tablespoonfuls of baking soda with one cup of white vinegar. Soak your jewellery inside the solution for about three hours. Rinse with clean water and wipe with a soft, dry cloth.
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