HOW TO PREVENT SILVER FROM TARNISHING



When certain metals are exposed to air and moisture, tarnish, a type of corrosion, develops. Even the best-kept pieces of silver jewelry can tarnish because it is one of the metals that is prone to this problem.


There are several things that you can do to prevent silver tarnish. Here are a few tips:



✖️ Avoid water. Water quickly tarnishes silver, so you should avoid leaving your silver jewelry on for extended periods while in contact with water. Silver will also tarnish when stored or displayed near water and other sources of humidity, such as steam heaters and bathroom windows. If you are cleaning with water, make sure to remove your silver jewelry first.

Likewise, try not to wear your silver jewelry during intense physical activity. Sweat contains salty acids, which can cause your silver to tarnish. Sweat is one of the most common causes of tarnishing jewelry.


✔ To prevent silver tarnish, clean your silver jewelry at regular intervals. Regularly cleaning off dirt and grime prevents tarnish from forming in the crevices of the jewelry where it is harder to reach. You can use various methods to clean your silver jewelry, including polishing cloths, special silver cleaners, soapy water, etc. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives, as these can damage the silver metal.


Once you've cleaned your silver jewelry, rinse it off with fresh water and dry it thoroughly with a soft, cotton cloth. Then, store your silver in a cool, dry place away from sunlight to prevent jewelry from tarnishing.


✔ Commercial anti-tarnish strips are another option to prevent silver tarnish. These strips release a gas that keeps the silver metal's surface from tarnishing. These anti-tarnish strips are available online or at most hardware stores; place one in the jewelry box or other storage space where your silver jewelry is kept, and swap it out every few months.


✖️ Keep your silver jewelry away from any harsh chemicals (bleach, chlorine, etc.). These chemicals will tarnish silver almost instantly if they come into contact with it. So, if you're working with any harsh chemicals, take your silver jewelry off first.


✖️ Don't clean your sterling silver too frequently, which can strip the metal and cause it to lose its protective coating. Over-cleaning can also lead to scratching, so it's best to clean your silver jewelry only when it's visibly dirty.


Unnecessary over-cleaning can also lead to your silver jewelry developing a dull finish. Opt for gentle cleaning methods, such as polishing cloths and mild silver cleaners, whenever possible. These won't strip the metal or remove the protective coating, and they'll help keep your silver jewelry looking shiny and new.


✖️ Avoid being around cigarette smoke. Nicotine and tar found in cigarette smoke are extremely damaging to your silver. If you want to avoid silver from tarnishing, keep acid-based items like vinegar and citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, and limes) away from your silver.


✖️ Avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures to prevent silver tarnish. Silver will tarnish and turn dark gray when exposed to high heat, like in an oven or dishwasher. Silver will also tarnish when exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Therefore, avoid exposing your silver jewelry to very frigid temperatures or leaving it outside in the scorching sun.


✖️ Avoid humidity. Humidity can penetrate your silver and cause it to tarnish even faster if not protected properly. You should never store it in a bathroom as the steam could damage the silver's finish. In addition, you should always store silver in an airtight container instead of leaving it out for display where humidity can reach it.


Even when using a jewelry box, placing each piece in a polybag first is best to protect it from tarnish.


✖️For tarnish prevention, minimize your jewelry's exposure to air pollution and smog. Air pollution contains sulfur and other harsh chemical substances, quickly tarnishing jewelry metals.


If you need to wear sterling silver jewelry during a long car ride, take it off and store it safely in your purse or accessory compartment. Car exhaust contains chemicals that speed up the jewelry tarnishing process and oxidize the metals faster.


✔ Use tarnish-resistant materials. The key to preventing silver tarnish is a protective layer (such as rhodium) that seals the surface of the metal from oxygen and sulfur-based compounds in the air.


✖️ Never polish or dry your silver jewelry with abrasive materials such as a rough paper towel or napkin. Abrasive papers will scratch the surface of your silver jewelry and make it look worse over time. It will also strip off the rhodium plating, protecting the silver from tarnishing.


✔  Invest in a jewelry box made of materials that won't tarnish, or get a specific airtight container just for storing your silver jewelry, if you want to prevent your jewelry from tarnishing. These are excellent ways to protect your silver from dampness and stop it from fading.


✔  Keep your silver jewelry separate from other metals while storing it. Since some metals are oxidizers and will cause your silver to tarnish, storing silver with other jewelry metals (like copper) might induce tarnishing. If you store different types of jewelry metals together, be sure they are all non-oxidizing metals, such as gold and sterling silver.


✖️ Be wary when wearing certain fabrics; not all materials are great for wearing against silver jewelry. For example, fabric with high acidity levels, like wool and dyed cotton fabrics, can tarnish the silver faster than other materials. So if you must wear your silver against these fabrics, be sure to clean it often.


✖️ Avoid touching rubber, latex, and other soft materials as well. These substances contain sulfur atoms, which can dissolve the protective layer of metal on your silver jewelry and hasten the tarnishing of sterling silver. It's best to store your sterling silver away from these materials.


With this knowledge, you can keep your sterling silver jewelry looking brand-new and shiny for years to come. Just remember to store it in a cool, dry place away from other metals (like copper), fabrics (like wool), and soft materials (like latex). With the right upkeep, your sterling silver will look gorgeous for a lifetime.