You need to have the floor swept and your clothes washed frequently right? What about your silver jewellery? It requires maintenance too. Silver if left unmaintained for long periods of time, will gradually tarnish.
Silver develops a black coating on its surface after some time. This happens because of a chemical reaction that occurs when silver comes in contact with air and other substances.
Silver tarnishing is different from rusting. Rusting causes damage to the base metal, while tarnishing does not damage silver. The good news is that this tarnish can be easily removed.
Before learning how to remove tarnish, let’s start with learning why silver tarnishes over time.
Why does silver tarnish and how to prevent it?
Firstly, most tap water contains chlorine. When chlorine in tap water comes into contact with silver jewellery, it will cause tarnishing. Thus, before you wash your hands, take a bath or wash cutlery, you need to remove your silver jewellery.
Secondly, you should wear your make-up, apply your cream and perfume before wearing your silver jewellery. This allows your skin to absorb some of the chemicals in those products, as some of those chemicals will cause your jewellery to tarnish faster.
Another thing to take note is that heat will also speed up tarnishing of your silver jewellery. Thus, cooking or exercising with your silver jewellery is not recommended.
Now that you know how to prevent silver from tarnishing, we can discuss about how you can clean and maintain your silver jewellery.
How to remove tarnish from Silver?
Silver needs to be regularly cleaned partly because of the oils your body produces. The oils from your body accumulate on the silver and causes oxidation.
Silver jewellery can be easily cleaned with warm water and wiped with a soft cloth. The water needs to be warmed to remove the chlorine it contains.
If your existing silver jewellery already show signs of tarnishing, do not worry. A silver polishing cloth is all you need to wipe away the tarnishing.
In addition, your silver jewellery needs to be stored away in a sealed bag (small zip-lock bags) or container with a silica gel packet. Don’t leave it in the open, as humidity in the environment may contribute to silver tarnishing.
Now that you understand how and why silver tarnishes, and also learnt how to remove tarnish, please take care of your silver jewellery and keep the shine on them.