Making it Easy to Clean Sterling Silver

Making it Easy to Clean Sterling Silver

Making it Easy to Clean Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is a great material for high-quality jewelry but, left uncared for, it can tarnish. Check out our guide that will teach you how to clean sterling silver.

Keyword(s): clean sterling silver


Did you know that about 17% of engagements happen on the same ten days of each year - AKA "engagement season?" 

What about the fact that the jewelry industry has grown by about 6% since last year?

Whether you have your eyes on a sterling silver engagement ring or are just shopping for some stunning sterling silver jewelry for yourself, you need to know how to clean sterling silver and keep it sparkling!

Here, we'll tell you everything you need to know about how to clean sterling silver. 

Get The Facts

Sterling silver jewelry is some of the most well-loved jewelry on the market today.

In fact, silver is quickly becoming more popular than gold jewelry, because it's more affordable and because it just goes with more. 

We know that you never lose your shine - your jewelry shouldn't, either! 

So, before we tell you exactly how to keep your sterling silver jewelry looking as elegant as the day you bought it, we want to make sure you know a few important things. 

The purity of your silver impacts the speed at which it tarnishes. It also influences how easily it can bend. 

In general, sterling silver that has a rating of .950 is a bit more flexible, and will also need to be polished more often. 

If your piece has a rating of .925, it will be a bit tougher, and likely won't need to be cleaned as often. 

Also, check with your jeweler to determine if your silver has been intentionally oxidized. This means that parts of the piece will be a bit darker, especially more intricate pieces, to make their shapes and designs clearer. 

If your pieces have a lot of oxidized detailing, you'll need to take extra care when cleaning them. You may even want to take them to a professional to ensure they're not harmed during the cleaning process. 

Be Proactive

We know that polishing jewelry can be a pain, so there are a few things you can do to extend the time between polishes. 

Did you know that your skin contains natural oils that can help to clean sterling silver jewelry? So, sometimes the best thing you can do to keep your jewelry clean is to show it off all the time!

Also, be sure to take off your sterling silver when you're working out, getting in the pool, or even cleaning your house (harsh chemicals aren't good for sterling.)

If you need to use hairspray, do so before you put on your jewelry. The same goes for body lotions and even perfume. 

Keep your jewelry out of the sun if possible! Your sterling pieces aren't great for lengthy trips to the beach or long events without any shade.

Finally, be sure to store your sterling silver jewelry in a cool, dry place - in a plastic bag like this option with a slide closure. This prevents your jewelry from tarnishing too quickly because it limits the amount of oxygen that can reach it.

Store your silver pieces individually, so they don't scratch one another. If you have a clasp, it's always a good idea to unhook it before storing it. 

You might even throw a silica gel packet, or even a stick of chalk, into the bags to stop the tarnish. 

How To Clean Sterling Silver

Of course sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, our jewelry can get tarnished. 

This has nothing to do with the quality of the jewelry, or even how you're caring for it. It's just something that happens with time. 

If your silver is only slightly tarnished, you can just give it a quick polish with a silver cloth - avoid paper towels and kleenex!

Polish going backward and forward - not in circles, which can make scratches appear bigger. 

For tighter/detailed areas, just use a Q-tip. 

How To Make Your Own Silver Cleaner

There's nothing wrong with pre-made, commercial silver cleaner, per se. However, many companies use dangerous chemicals that can actually do more harm than good to the jewelry. 

Because these cleaners, if not high quality, can erode the anti-tarnish coating on your jewelry.

Sometimes, they can harm the environment as well. 

If you want to use a commercial cleaner, look for green options. However, we suggest making your own!

It's easy to clean sterling silver jewelry with common kitchen cabinet items. 

Check out these options:

Soap And Water

Yep, sometimes it doesn't need to be any more complicated than this! You can use an ammonia-free dishwashing liquid to do the job. 

This is a good "first try" method, to see if the tarnish can be removed without looking into other options.

Water And Baking Soda

Add about 2 parts of water to 1 part of baking soda, and make it into a paste. If your piece has lots of delicate features and designs, add a touch more water to make sure the paste doesn't get stuck in the grooves. 

You will likely want to use a toothbrush to apply this DIY cleaner. 

Lemon Juice And EVOO

Squeeze out about 1/2 a cup of lemon juice, and then toss in about a tablespoon of olive oil. It's not a salad dressing, it's a jewelry cleaner!

Then dip in your polishing cloth, wring out excess moisture, and get to work!

Baking Soda With Whitened Vinegar

If you have a serious build-up of tarnish, this is the option for you. 

You don't want to just polish it in this mixture - you want to soak it first!

Create a mix of about 1/2 a cup of whitened vinegar, along with around 2 tablespoons of baking soda. 

Let it sit for about 2.5 hours, clean it off, and you're all set. 

Getting Clean Sterling Silver Is Easy!

Thanks to this handy guide, you'll be able to keep your sterling silver earrings,  rings, bracelets, and necklaces sparkling!

Don't go out with a tarnished piece of jewelry again. 

Looking for more jewelry care advice? Need help picking out the perfect piece for an upcoming party? Just in the mood to spoil yourself? 

Take a look at our website and browse our beautiful collections.

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