Does Silver Tarnish? A Guide to Keeping Your Jewellery Shining

1. Why does silver jewellery ‘Tarnish’ and what does it mean?

Jewellery, especially silver jewellery, can last a long time with the right care. But people can find that the jewellery starts tarnishing with time. Tarnishing generally means that the silver starts turning black. The tarnish can be removed by polishing them with an anti-tarnish cloth or cream, but what does it mean when this happens?

There are a number of ways that silver jewellery can tarnish. Some natural reasons include oxidation and perspiration, while some people neglect to take care of their jewellery properly. One of the reasons for tarnishing is oxidation caused by sulphide in the air. If sulphides come in contact with the metal, they oxidise and cause a brown or black colour in place of silver.

2. What’s the Difference Between Silver and Gold?

Silver and gold are two precious metals that have been used as a form of currency and for other uses for centuries. Gold is a special metal that doesn’t tarnish, so it retains its value over time. Silver has been used as a form of currency in many places, but it can oxidise. Over the past few years, silver has had more industrial uses than gold because it is more abundant and cheaper to produce.

3. How to Clean Silver Using Common Household Items

Silver is notoriously hard to clean. The use of specific items is necessary keep it looking shiny, but just wiping it down with a sponge or cloth won’t be enough. It is important to use the appropriate material and technique to clean silver. For example, it is not advised to use bleach or ammonia on silver as these can cause corrosion, and are less safe for the person cleaning.

It is important not to leave your silver items in water for too long as this will most often result in stains and further tarnishing.

Silver can be cleaned using several household items such as:

  • baking soda
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • dish soap
  • toothpaste
  • hydrogen peroxide for deep cleaning

4. How to Clean Silver Jewellery That Has Become Tarnished

There are several common ways in which you can clean tarnished silver jewellery. You could use a home remedy like salt and lemon juice, or you could purchase products that are specifically designed for the job. Here are two household solutions you could consider:

  1. Salt

Salt is an abrasive substance, so when it is applied to dirt or grime on metal it can help to break down the substance’s tarnished particles. This will leave your jewellery looking shiny and new again. Simply sprinkle salt onto your jewellery, then scrub with warm water before rinsing with cold water. Be careful not to rub too hard though, as this could cause more damage than good!

  1. Dish Soap

A very common way to clean silverware is by using a few drops of dishwashing soap or detergent in warm water. Then polish the jewellery using a soft cloth, such as a microfibre cloth, to bring out a clean shine.

  1. Toothpaste

One of the surprising ways to clean tarnished silver jewellery, but one of the most effective is to use toothpaste. Simply dip the jewellery in a small bowl of toothpaste, allow it to sit for 10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with soap and water.

British-made silver jewellery on Buy Britain

If silver jewellery is your thing, take look at our range of British-made Silver Jewellery. Our makers lovingly design and craft each piece locally. Not only are they stunning pieces but they also support local skills and crafts.

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