|Happy Spring Taxco Silver Choker|
Sterling silver jewelry continues to soar in global popularity. From silver bracelets and earrings to rings and necklaces – these items are synonymous with true elegance and perfect for all occasions. Like other precious metals, however, silver is not exempt from tarnishing or corrosion. In fact, oxygen and sulfur always comes into contact with sterling silver jewelry sets, pieces, and accessories. These elements bond to the surface of the items and cause them to appear dirty or discolored. This is why so many silver items lay dormant in countless jewelry boxes across the world.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to effectively clean, store, and prevent tarnishing for all your favorite silver items. In fact, these following tips and suggestions can truly restore the natural luster and shine of your silver. This helps to increase its value over time – while preventing the elements from gaining a foothold on your sterling silver pieces again.
Preventive Care Solutions
As with any precious metal or jewelry, contact with household chemicals can cause irreparable harm and damage. To effectively protect your fine silver and secure longevity, you must avoid excessive exposure to the following chemicals and elements:
Keep silver away from lotions, cosmetics, hair spray, and even perfume. These are considered “enemies of silver” and are known to accelerate tarnishing.
Polishing your silver works well when tarnishing is not too severe. In fact, regular polishing (using commercial cleaners but not all the time) is considered the best way to clean oxidized silver – and preserve their natural shine and allure. As mentioned earlier, silver is soft and always susceptible to scratching. Therefore, you should use a special silver cleaning cloth to polish your items. These can be found online or at local jewelry shops – but other soft non-abrasive cloths will work as well. These, of course, must be lint-free flannel or microfiber based materials that will not harm your silver.
Sterling Silver Jewelry Cleaners
Professional Silver Care Cleaners
Unless your pieces are heavily tarnished – or you simply don’t have time to clean them – professional silver cleaners are always available. With years of extensive industry experience, these specialists have the tools and expertise to remove tarnish and restore your pieces back to normal. They also specialize in cleaning vintage, fragile, or valuable silver pieces, accessories and sets as well.
Commercial Silver Cleaners
Commercial silver polishes are easy to find and use. However, they do have a myriad of drawbacks – and should never be extensively used to clean or polish silver. For one, the vapors from silver polishes can cause health problems, and can even be fatal if inhaled in a closed or unventilated room. The powerful cleaning solvents founds in commercial cleaners may also need to be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner. This prevents the cleaners –after they are done – from contaminating groundwater.
In addition to health issues, extensive use of commercial silver cleaners can actually cause more harm to your sterling silver pieces. This is because they remove the anti-tarnish coating and valuable patina within items. While cleaners do secure a temporary shine or buff – your silver will tarnish more quickly since their surfaces have now been breached and broken down. According to silver experts, it is simply best to use anti-tarnish cloths (dry) for regularly cleaning your sets and accessories.