Looking after your silver jewellery
One of the questions we get asked most frequently is “How do I clean my silver jewellery?”.
Quite often the item of jewellery in question has been tucked away somewhere safe and has been re-discovered by its owner, the jewellery normally needs a little bit of TLC to make it wearable again.
- Remove any dirt or makeup from jewellery using an old toothbrush and some warm water.
- If the dirt is really stubborn soak the jewellery in a mild mixture of washing up liquid and warm water, then clean out the jewellery using your old toothbrush.
- Never use a jewellery cleaning liquid on hollow jewellery, or jewellery set with pearls, turquoise, coral, lapis lazuli or any other porous stone. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully!
- Make sure you rinse out the jewellery really well with cold water after using a jewellery cleaner.
- With really heavily tarnished silver you may need to dip the jewellery a couple of times, if the jewellery is cleaner but still has a ‘yellowy’ look to it you will need to polish it up with a silver cloth.
- You can also use mild bicarbonate of soda and water solution to clean silver jewellery.
- The best way to bring back the shine to your jewellery is to use a silver cloth that will remove most tarnishing.
- A silver cloth is also the best way to clean chains, pull the chain gently through a fold in the cloth and repeat until the chain is bright and clean.
- Silver cloths and cleaners such as Goddards Silver dip can be bought at most hardware shops.
- Be careful if an item of jewellery has been oxidised as you can easily remove the oxidised finish on the jewellery if you rub the jewellery too hard with a silver cloth.
- Items of handprint, footprint or fingerprint jewellery should only ever be cleaned using a silver cloth.
Wearing your silver jewellery is the best way to keep it looking bright and shiny as the constant movement of the jewellery stops any tarnishing building up (with an occasional wipe over with a silver cloth). Sterling silver jewellery will tarnish over time if not cared for but if you follow a few easy tips your jewellery should keep its lustre.
- Always keep silver jewellery in a jewellery box or the gift box it came in, sunlight can speed up tarnishing.
- Keep a silica gel sachet (you normally find these in a new purse or handbag) in the box next to your jewellery, moisture can cause tarnishing.
- Never keep silver jewellery on a jewellery stand, as this exposes the jewellery to sunlight and moisture in the air.
- Don’t wear your silver jewellery in a swimming pool, the chemicals in pools can cause terrible tarnishing.