Cleaning silver jewellery

How to Deal with Tarnish on Your Silver Jewellery?

Are you scared of losing your silver jewellery to the shades of yellow, brown, black or grey? Are you confused about what to do when tarnish hits your precious silver trinkets? Well, fret no more, we got hue!

But first, what exactly is tarnish? Tarnish is a product of the chemical reaction that occurs between a metal (in this case, silver) and a non-metal compound (such as oxygen and sulphur dioxide) that forms metal oxide layer; essentially, the residue created by oxidation. This residue or discolouration appears as a distinct yellow, brown, black or grey coating on the surface of the metallic jewellery. Sounds like it could be corrosive right? But it is a natural process and tends to happen to silver jewellery over a period of time depending upon its care. The tarnish may cause some skin irritation if not properly dealt with. Even the best jewellery tarnishes, so the problem isn’t due to the quality of jewellery or it not being made of real silver. Silver tarnishes when it comes into contact with a host of external factors such as but not limited to: sulphur (found in air particles), body oils, makeup, perfumes, soaps, chlorine (from swimming pools), pH of skin, moisture (caused by humidity), sweat, etc.  

Nevertheless, it’s best to know how to make the tarnish vanish and keep your jewellery intact. Various tips on cleaning silver jewellery usually involve using household ingredients. For example, tarnish can be removed using a solution of baking soda and water and later wiped with a microfibre cloth. You could also use vinegar, or ketchup, or toothpaste. Alcohol, specifically isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, works wonders! Finally, you would need to rinse and dry the jewellery at the end of the process. It may seem risky to clean 925 sterling silver jewellery using household products, but truthfully, that’s all it takes.  

Like many things in the medical community, prevention is better than cure. Although silver jewellery cannot completely be protected against air, heat or moisture, there are other ways it can be protected. For instance, store the piece in anti-tarnish bags, small pouches or boxes, when not worn and to even prevent scratches. Furthermore, store in a cool and dark place. Never leave silver jewellery in the bathroom where the air is humid. Remember, the lower the humidity, the better! 

Overall, remember to clean your jewellery if it’s been a long time since you’ve worn it.

Let this be your silver lining of the day! Stay updated on more tips and tricks with the House of Hue blog!

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