Silver is an elegant metal that is sure to impress far more than stainless steel. Silver is a fragile metal however, and it needs to be treated very carefully. That's where our 5 tips for silver maintenance can help you out! Following our direction, you can ensure that your silver looks fantastic for many generations.
So what is tarnish and how can it be prevented? Tarnish is the natural results of a chemical reaction that happens with silver comes into contact with air and other substances. The truth is that tarnish cannot be stopped completely, but with proper silver maintenance it can be slowed considerably.
While this black colored corrosion looks quite unbecoming, it isn't anything to truly worry about. Tarnish doesn't destroy silver unlike rust the metal underneath the tarnish isn't affected. It can be removed quite easily and the cleaning can be made even easier with Simple Shine's Complete Cleaning Kit!
Silver maintenance is actually a simple matter that consists largely of preventative maintenance, but even if you've let your silver tarnish we've included some tips that can bring your jewelry back from the brink of destruction. Not just jewelry either, you can use all 5 of our silver maintenance tips on silverware as well!
Keep Your Silver Clean!
When you finish wearing your jewelry you'll need to keep it clean. Oils from human skin that are allowed to sit on silver can easily cause silver to tarnish. The best way to ensure silver maintenance is a simply washing your items with warm distilled water, and patting them dry with a soft cloth.
Oils aren't the only thing that can speed up tarnishing, you will need to be wary of perfume and hair spray as well. These are easy enough to remove along with the oils from skin, and shouldn't be a problem as long as proper silver maintenance is performed regularly.
Hidden killers for silver are numerous. Chlorine from tap water can make a bad situation worse, so please only clean your silver with distilled water. You'll also need to be wary of latex and even wool clothing. These can abrade your silver and create an ideal situation for tarnish to begin developing.
Store Your Silver Properly!
If your silver is stored properly as part of your silver maintenance then tarnish can be slowed to a crawl. Your biggest enemy when it comes to silver storage is humidity. You'll want to minimize the amount of water that your silver is exposed to. That means a plastic bag is a big no-no! Plastic can break down over time and will become fused to silverware. Plastic particles on your jewelry is an absolute terror to remove.
There are many cloth bags available for silver storage, with tarnish-resistant flannel being a particular favorite of course. Flannel allows your silver to breath while also minimizing the amount of light that your silver is exposed to. If you really want to keep good silver maintenance, maybe toss a couple of silica packets into your bag to minimize humidity around your silverware as much as possible.
Bad Ideas for Silver Longevity
There is plenty of misinformation regarding tarnished silver and how to remove it. Even if you wear your jewelry every day, tarnish might start to develop. It's a relatively simple matter to remove it, but doing the wrong thing can permanently damage your prized possession.
Products like our silver wipes or our silver cloths are great and our preferred method for cleaning. I've heard of many at-home remedies over the years, while some are functional enough for lightly tarnished silver there remain a fair few that can absolutely destroy this fragile metal. Be very wary.
Toothpaste has been suggested to me before, and I cringe every time someone brings it up. Many toothpastes are extremely abrasive. If something like latex or wool can abrade your silver into tarnishing just imagine the kind of damage that purposely scrubbing with toothpaste can do. Yikes!
In that same vein, baking soda is generally not a great idea either. While baking soda is capable of removing heavy tarnish, it will undoubtedly take a layer of silver off with it. That can lead to an even worse tarnish then the one that you implemented the baking soda to remove in the first place.
Good Ideas for Silver Maintenance
Silver dips can actually be a very good idea, removing the tarnish without any rubbing. You do need to be careful that your chosen silver dip is a quality one however. A cheap silver dip can end up damaging metal. As always with silver maintenance, ensure your silver is completely dry.
Finally plating silver can provide a fool-proof protection, albeit a temporary one. The majority of silver items that are sold today are plated. Eventually this silver plating will wear off. How quickly that happens depends on how often your silver is worn and/or polished.
Don't let the fact that you will need to re-plate your silver dissuade you from practicing proper silver maintenance. In order to have something eye-catching and worth displaying it is going to require a bit of effort, but without a doubt it is a worthy investment.
Are you looking for a silver necklace of your very own to care for? We've got you covered!