Keeping your jewellery super shiny
Tarnish is probably the word that most of us will be familiar with and is certainly what can occur first. Silver tarnish is the result of a chemical reaction and is predominately easy to remove and is definitely not something to be worried or concerned about. What causes your silver jewellery to tarnish?
Unfortunately the biggest cause of silver tarnishing is all around us and we couldn’t live without it. The very air that we breathe contains elements like oxygen and sulphur which react with silver. This reaction creates the dull film on the surface of the silver ranging from light yellow to black which we all know as tarnish. This will even happen if you keep your jewellery in a box and only wear it occasionally. Ask any jewellery shop, they will tell you that they are constantly polishing all the stock on display. Silver can also be tarnished by sea water, swimming pools and soaps.
Help is at hand
There’s no need to panic or move to the moon, where the lack of atmosphere would prevent your favourite necklace dulling, the solution is in your hands, literally. The best way to remove light tarnish is with a simple polishing cloth. These can be easily found in shops and online. It doesn’t even need to be done frequently. In fact, the more you wear your jewellery the less attention it should require. Naturally occurring oils in our skin can actually clean your jewellery as you wear it. What a brilliant excuse for wearing more and often! If you are using a polishing cloth, here are a few simple rules;
- Invest in a silver polishing cloth, never use tissues or paper towels
- Gently polish in the direction of the grain of the silver
- Never polish in circles
- Keep you cloth in an airtight bag, usually supplied with the cloth
- Avoid getting dirt and dust on your cloth, especially abrasive grits
- Use an old toothbrush to get into hard to reach areas
- Always wash your hands afterwards
Are really good and cost effective (cheap) polishing cloth is available from Town Talk (available in our store)
When the going gets tough - Heavily tarnished
If your silver is heavily tarnished or you have just dug up a Viking coin from your back garden you may need to use a cleaning liquid. These can be easily found in shops or online. There should be more specific instructions accompanying these products as they can contain some robust cleaning chemicals and should be used carefully. Alternatively here are some homemade recipes you can try;
A baking soda and water paste that’s rubbed onto the silver
Lemon juice and olive oil used to rub onto the silver
Baking soda and white vinegar used to soak your jewellery in before polishing
Always clean any polish off your silver jewellery after cleaning, by running under a tap and drying off.
The most important thing to remember about tarnish is that it is very easy to remove and should in no way spoil your enjoyment of your jewellery. What really counts is how much each piece means to you or the thought that went into buying you the gift. In every life a little rain must fall, but you only get a rainbow when it rains