silver will tarnish over time but there are certain precautions you can take to prevent or slow down the tarnishing process. Furthermore if your silver does tarnish it is easy to rectify.
When not wearing your jewellery wrap it in a tarnish free cloth and place it in a jewellery box or plastic zip lock bag. Humid environments accelerate the tarnishing process, if you live in such an area place a small bag of silica gel crystals with the jewellery to absorb the moisture.
Do not wear your jewellery all the time. Remove your jewellery before showering, swimming or cleaning. Hairspray and perfume can cause silver to tarnish so always apply these before you put on your jewellery.
Avoid contact with chemicals, latex products and acidy foods and try not to touch your jewellery with oily hands as the salts can encourage tarnish. Be particularly wary of chlorine, especially at high temperatures. Avoid wearing your jewellery whilst cleaning with chlorine based products and never go swimming or enter a jacuzzi or hot tub whilst wearing silver as chlorine can permanently discolour and damage silver jewellery.
Regular cleaning with a soft lint free cloth will keep your silver shining and lustrous and will prevent tarnishing. Light tarnish can be removed by using washing liquid and lukewarm (not hot) water. An old toothbrush can be used with this but be sure to use a brush with soft bristles. Once the jewellery is clean, rinse with lukewarm water and allow it to dry. Silver polish can also be used to remove tarnish but care should be taken with gemstone jewellery, especially pearls, as the chemicals can damage certain stones. Heavy tarnish can be removed by other methods but it is best to consult a professional beforehand as the method will depend on the amount of tarnishing and type of jewellery to be cleaned.
Finally, with silver care, remember that prevention is better than cure and, with proper care, your piece of silver jewellery will remain as lustrous and shiny as the day you first bought it.
Caring For Silver
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5 November 2010
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