Handcrafted silver jewelry is a beautiful addition to your overall style. Each piece is created with the utmost care, so it becomes a treasured heirloom. Silver tarnishes over time, however, and requires cleaning to maintain its beauty. Keeping your jewelry safe so that it lasts for years and years often boils down to avoiding certain things.
Avoid moisture for prolonged periods of time.
Removing your silver jewelry before you shower, or wash dishes or jump into the pool can help prevent tarnishing. Chemical cleaners and chlorinated water can also damage the piece by causing corrosion. Removing it before these activities allows you to keep your jewelry in a safe place rather than expose it to materials that could damage it.
Avoid harsh cleaners or cleaning methods.
Cleaning your silver jewelry with materials such as steel wool or other abrasive items could scratch the piece. It’s also best to avoid abrasive cleaners such as baking powder. Harsh scrubbing, even with a gentler cloth, can also cause damage to your jewelry. Gentle is the operative word. Soft cloths and slow, careful wiping are the best routine to keep your jewelry cleaned and unharmed.
Avoid storing your jewelry together.
Placing multiple pieces of jewelry together in a bag could cause damage. Each piece should be wrapped in cloth and stored separately to avoid scratching. You should also avoid materials such as wood, rubber, or newspaper as they make silver tarnish faster.
Don’t forget to wear it!
With all the emphasis on precautions for keeping silver from tarnishing, it might be easy to believe your jewelry is safer wrapped up in cloths and put away. Doing that, however, would defeat the purpose of owning a beautiful, handcrafted piece. Wearing your jewelry doesn’t automatically mean you’re adding to the tarnish. The natural oils in your skin do add some protection for the silver. Remember, though, to avoid getting lotions or perfumes onto the jewelry, which could add to the tarnish. And be sure to store your piece immediately after wearing it.