How to Keep your Favourite Silvers Sparkling And Golds Glorious.
Handcrafted jewellery never goes out of fashion, it’s pouring out of our jewellery boxes and an everyday must. So it’s understandably heart-breaking when your silver and golds becomes tarnished, dull and discoloured, so we’ve put together our top tips for keeping your jewellery favourites as shiny as the day you bought them.
Tip #1: “Prevention Is Better Than A Cure”
There are ways to prevent your jewellery from ever reaching the stage of needing extreme amounts of polishing! Wearing your jewellery is one of the best ways to keep it tarnish-free. Your skin’s natural oils help keep your jewellery clean as well as maintaining its sparkle. Just make sure to wipe your jewellery down to avoid a build up of unwanted minerals!
Tip #2: Wipe It Down!
Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals; its these other metals (mostly copper) that cause sterling silver jewellery to tarnish. The copper reacts to moisture and sulphur in the air causing the oxidation and tarnishing reaction.
If you wipe your jewellery down after wearing it (just a quick once over, not every nook and cranny, no one has that kind of time!) this will keep it looking fresher for longer.
Tip #3: Get A Pretty Jewellery Box For Your Pretty Jewels
Your best jewels should be kept away from heat, direct sunlight and moisture, so instead of leaving them on your night stand, keep them stored away when you aren’t wearing them!
Tip #4: Keep Away From Moisture
You should never leave your jewellery in the bathroom where it will be exposed to humidity, moisture and steam from the shower (keep it in that pretty jewellery box we mentioned!). Exposing your best handcrafted pieces to moisture is a sure-fire way to tarnish them.
Don’t worry if you shower in your silver necklace or gold ring that one time you forgot you were wearing the, dry it off afterwards and don’t make a habit of it!
Tip #5: Keep Away From Chemicals
Some chemicals cause sterling silver and gold to tarnish and corrode, so keeping your favourite jewellery away from them is a must! Household chemicals, hairspray, lotions and perfumes can damage your jewellery so be wary of whether you have bracelets, necklaces or rings on when doing your daily beauty routine.
Tip #6: Polishing
If it’s not too tarnished, polishing is a great way to bring a shine back to your favourite items. You can use a special polishing cloth, but if you don't have one of those a microfiber or non-abrasive cloth will do the trick. Gold is a soft metal and can scratch easily so make sure to be gentle!
Avoid using tissues or paper towels and rubbing in a circular motion; this will most likely scratch the peice or highlight existing scratches.
Tip #7: Soap & Warm Water
If polishing didn't do the trick try some simple cleaning methods. Warm water with soap is the best starting point: combine warm water and a mild ammonia (or ammonia free washing-up liquid) and watch as life comes back to your jewellery. You can leave the piece to soak for 5 minutes if it’s really tarnished to give your polish session a good head start.
Tip #8: Sterling Silver Cleaning Tips
Baking Soda & Water
If that didn’t work you can try some more aggressive cleaning tactics. Use a small amount of baking soda and warm water to create a paste and apply this to the silver. Clean off under warm water before a gentle polish.
Lemon Juice & Olive Oil
You can also try this method with lemon juice (known for its cleaning properties) and olive oil; mix half a cup of lemon juice with a teaspoon of olive oil, dip your cleaning cloth in the solution and give your silvers a polish. Then rinsing under warm water and gently polish with a dry cloth.
Baking Soda, Water, Salt & Aluminium Foil
Cover a baking tray in a sheet of aluminium foil and lay the jewellery on it, then pour boiling water until the pieces are covered and add two tablespoons of baking soda and salt respectively. Mix the solution until it’s all dissolved and wait 5-10 minutes. The solution will cause the tarnish to transfer to the foil and leave your jewellery looking fresh and clean.
Tip #9: A Professional Cleaning Service
If your favourite necklace is beyond the prevention stage but you don’t have time to clean it, or it’s too tarnished for an at-home DIY solution, take it to a professional cleaner! They will have it shiny, new and ready to wear so you can keep enjoying your favourite jewellery (and then you just stick to our prevention tips to keep the sparkling!)