You are definitely planning on dressing to kill, and you can already picture yourself in that flowing red designer gown that hugs you voluptuously and accentuates your curves in all the right places together with that sparkling silver necklace you bought a few months ago…
On getting home, you decide to try out your attire for the dance… The dress still fits perfectly, but on opening your jewelry box, a shocking sight awaits you… The once shiny and appealing silver necklace now looks dull, lifeless, and unappealing. How could this have happened?!? Can the silver necklace be cleaned so as to achieve its original, appealing sheen once again?
Do not worry. You can shine and be the star of the show on your big date in your killer outfit and stunning silver necklace. There are two main reasons why your silver necklace could have lost its sheen and, luckily for you, the silver can be cleaned and polished so that it returns its lost appeal.
One of the main reasons why silver jewelry loses its shine is Oxidation. If you have silver jewelry that also contains trace amounts of other metals such as zinc, over time, the two metals react in a process known as Oxidation. When silver oxidizes, it tends to lose its original shiny appearance and darken.
Another reason why your silver jewelry may have lost its appeal is because of tarnishing. Tarnishing usually occurs when silver reacts with the air or water. Tarnishing can also occur if your jewelry is in constant contact with chemicals found in lotions, perfume, bleach, deodorant, or hair spray. When silver tarnishes, it usually becomes duller than it should actually appear.
If you find that your silver jewelry has tarnished or oxidized, you should not fret too much or consider throwing the jewelry away. Why throw away a prized heirloom, gift, or valuable possession simply because it looks discolored while you can return it to its original, appealing state by cleaning and polishing it?
Now that you know why your silver jewelry looks different, we will discuss how you could have avoided the tarnishing or discoloration of your valuable prized jewelry in the first place. Further, we will also discuss what you should do should you find that your silver jewelry has lost its sheen.
Top 5 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Silver Jewelry
1. Avoid Exposing Your Jewelry to Chemicals
As mentioned earlier, when silver comes into contact with chemicals, it tends to tarnish and corrode. To maintain the shine and appeal of your silver ornaments, you should ensure that the jewelry does not come into contact with chemical substances. As such, your priced silver ornaments should not get into contact with rubber, substances that contain sulfur, household chemicals, deodorant, beauty products, and sweat.
It is also important to note that direct sunlight usually leads to silver tarnishing. If you are planning to lounge in the sun, take off your jewelry first. You should also remember that water in swimming pools contains chlorine, and as such, you should not go for a swim while adorning your precious silver ornaments.
2. Store Your Silver Jewelry Properly
When silver is exposed to air, it tends to tarnish quickly. If you are hoping to maintain your silver ornaments in pristine condition, clean your jewelry after use and store it in airtight containers. By storing the jewelry in airtight bags, you will be avoiding tarnishing by preventing contact to air and moisture. Ideally, you should only store one piece of jewelry in a container to avoid damaging the silver through scratching. Do not be economical with storage space as you can end up preventing one disaster only to get your ornaments more severely damaged.
3. Keep Your Silver Ornaments Away from Water
Exposure of silver to water or humid conditions is a major cause of tarnishing. I know your silver jewelry looks good on you, and you may not feel like taking it off. However, if you do not want to damage the jewelry, take the stunning ornaments off when bathing, doing chores, or when you are in an area that has high levels of humidity and moisture.
4. Wear Your Jewelry More Often
You definitely look stunning in your silver jewelry, and you should not shy away from making this fact known. It is a proven fact that silver maintains its sheen when worn more frequently. Do not just wait for special occasions to bedeck your neck with that dazzling silver necklace! Wear it on any other day and look gorgeous for no special reason.
5. Clean and Polish Your Silver Occasionally
In the unfortunate event that your silver is tarnished or oxidized, you should clean and polish it immediately to prevent further deterioration. However, do not always wait until your jewelry has lost its sheen to polish it. Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your fabulous silver ornaments sparkling appealing.
If your jewelry has lost its sheen, you can either clean and polish the silver from the comfort of your home or entrust the job to a professional. If the silver is too tarnished or if the jewelry also contains other precious metals or stones, it is best to leave the cleaning job to an experienced professional. In such instances, the cleaning techniques required to properly clean and polish all the jewelry components without any damage may be too advanced to handle personally.
However, if your silver ornaments are only partially tarnished, you can clean the silver using the following homemade silver cleaning agents:
• Warm water and soap that does not contain ammonia and phosphates
• A mixture of water and baking soda
• A mixture of lemon juice and olive oil
• A mixture of baking soda and white vinegar (For heavily tarnished silver)
After using any of the cleaning agents above, ensure that you rinse your silver and dry it.
There you have it! If you are hoping to wear your alluring silver jewelry for many years and perhaps even pass it along to your kids as an heirloom, you can follow the simple and practical tips discussed above. Do not let tarnish and Oxidation keep you from looking fabulous and turning heads in the upcoming event! Take care of your silver jewelry, and it will take care of you.