Important things to know about sterling silver
Many people are hesitant to clean their sterling silver jewelry for fear of accidentally ruining it. However, the reality is that silver is a much more tolerant metal than one would think at first glance.
Here are some important facts about sterling silver that you should keep in mind if you decide to clean your own silver:
Sterling silver is an alloy, which means it is not 100% silver, but rather made of two or more metals. The majority of sterling silver is 92.5% real silver. The remaining 7.5% can be made up of several different metals.
Although sterling silver is not 100% silver, its high silver content means that its value fluctuates with the value of the metal. As you can imagine, pure silver has a higher value than sterling silver.
Sterling silver is stronger than pure silver because it is an alloy. The added metals that are present in sterling silver increase its strength.
Pure silver is a relatively soft metal, which means it is susceptible to scratches, dents and twists. Keep in mind that sterling silver is tougher than pure silver, allowing it to withstand more stress.
Although sterling silver is not pure silver and is mixed with other types of metals, the most common type of metal it is mixed with is copper. Mixing copper and silver is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, unlike their nickel and brass counterparts.
It is therefore one of the safest types of jewelry to wear, since its components are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.
How to prevent your silver from tarnishing
Although it's impossible to completely avoid it, there are things you can do to prevent your silver from tarnishing quickly. The following tips will help delay the overall tarnishing process and ensure your jewelry is in its best condition for as long as possible.
Clean your jewelry after wearing it
After wearing your silver jewelry, you can use warm water and a cloth to wipe it down before storing. This is a quick and easy step that can be incorporated into your daily routine to help slow the dulling process as much as possible.
Remove your braces before cooking
Removing your rings while cooking or doing the dishes is a good habit to get into, as it maintains the longevity of your jewelry . Cooking oils and other ingredients can speed up the tarnishing process if they come into contact with your silver jewelry.
Store your jewelry in the right place
Be aware of how you choose to store your sterling silver. The main thing to avoid is humidity , as it exponentially speeds up the dulling process. Be sure to store your silver jewelry in a jewelry box or enclosed space that is not too hot.
How to Clean Silver Jewelry
Professional jewelers clean your tarnished silver jewelry using a cloth and cleaning solution . It is a formula created specifically for silver jewelry. The cloths are 100% cotton and contain a form of anti-tarnish oil. They also use a solution that jewelry can be immersed in.
Best Ways to Clean Your Silver Jewelry Yourself
Although professionals do it in a very specific way, there are different ways to clean silver jewelry. Here are some of the best ways to clean silver jewelry at home:
baking soda paste
Baking soda is the king of cleaning, and it's no different when it comes to cleaning sterling silver jewelry. Baking soda paste is easy to make at home and a surefire way to clean your silver.
Simply add a spoonful of baking soda to half a spoonful of water. You want two parts baking soda to one part water. Mix it until it forms a paste. Then all you have to do is rub the paste and apply it in all the crevices. Once the chain, ring, bracelet or earring has been completely covered in paste, rinse and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Vinegar and baking soda
If the water and baking soda paste aren't strong enough to do the job, you may need to substitute the water with vinegar. This method takes a little longer and involves soaking the jewelry, but it's a much stronger solution than the baking soda and water paste.
All you have to do is mix ½ cup of white vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl or mug. Once completely mixed, place your jewelry in the solution and let it sit for a few hours. Once they've soaked for a good period of time, remove them, rinse off the excess solution, and buff them with a soft cloth.
This is a method you may not have heard of! Strange as it may sound, toothpaste will help remove tarnish from your sterling silver jewelry.
Mix a small amount of toothpaste with a little water and use a clean toothbrush to scrub your silver jewelry. Then simply rinse the jewelry. The most important thing to remember is not to use whitening toothpaste , as the ingredients used in the whitening formula can damage your jewelry.
soap and water
Sometimes the simplest method is the best solution to your problem. Mixing a little soap and water and placing your jewelry collection in the solution is often all it takes. Once your jewelry is in the water, simply use your hands to wash it and dry it with a soft cloth.
What's the fastest way to clean silver?
Here are the materials you will need :
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon of white salt
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 sheet of aluminum foil
- 1 bowl
- 1 cloth
- First, boil your water.
- While your water is boiling, you can prepare the rest. Place your bowl in front of you and line it with foil, making sure the shiny side is facing up.
- Once the bowl is lined, add the salt and baking soda to the top of the foil.
- Now slowly add your vinegar over your salt and baking soda. The mixture will start to fizz a bit, so do this step gradually so you don't overwhelm the suit. The goal is to make sure all the salt and baking soda are dissolved.
- Once everything is dissolved, you can add your boiling water.
- It's time to put down your jewelry. You simply drop your collection into the solution and watch the chemical reaction do its thing.
- Finally, remove each jewel and polish them with your cloth. When you take the jewelry out of the bowl, be careful because the water will be hot.
By following this quick and easy method, your sterling silver will be as good as new. If you have all the components at home, it's a more economical alternative to going to a jeweler.