The sterling silver comprise 92.5% pure silver with the rest 7.5% other metal, usually is copper which make the jewelry durable and hard. And that's what causing the sterling silver tarnished quickly. In addition, silver is a soft and unstable metal, so it will be scratched easily. Without proper care, sterling silver would become discolored and damaged quickly.
Caring and Cleaning sterling silver jewelry: to prevent bad things happening, it is very important to provide proper care and good storage for your sterling silver piece. The better you take care of your sterling silver jewelry, the brighter it will be.
The proper care of sterling silver jewelry includes:
- Cleaning your piece with jewelry cloth after every use
- Put it in an air-tight bag if you not expect to wear for a long time
- Keep it in mild temperature and low humidity. The heat, light and humidity will speed up tarnishing process.
- Do not store it directly in wood case for the wood containing acid in molecular structure that is harmful to sterling silver.
- Keep your jewelry away from chlorine, which make it appears yellow or black. So you should take off sterling silver jewelry before swimming or having a bath.
- Do not use polyvinyl bag for most plastic bag contain sulfur components which can also cause tarnish to your jewelry
- The sterling silver jewelry should be stored separately to prevent the pieces from rubbing against each other, and cause tiny scratches.
The best way to protect your sterling silver jewelry is keeping it away from the harm source. But if the “unexpected” happened, here the household tips for cleaning sterling silver jewelry will be helpful:
- Use a soft brush to clean and using a soft towel to dry instead of any hard objects. Because silver is too soft to scratch
- Use a jewelry cloth which you can get from jewelry accessory store.
- Use baking soda to cleaning the layer of tarnish and oxidation on your jewelry surface. Put a bit of aluminum in baking soda boiling water, immerge your entire jewelry in this solution. Moment later, the tarnish and oxidation layer will be removed with aluminum, leave your jewelry piece clean and shiny again.
- Cleaning with silver-dip, this can be obtained from jewelry store. Usually silver-dip will do a little harm to your jewelry. So this is the last method I want to recommend unless your jewelry damaged seriously.