3 Easy Ways to Remove Tarnish
Did you know sterling silver is an alloy, which means the silver is mixed with another metal, often copper, to produce a strong-enough material that you can wear? Similar to gold, silver in its natural form isn’t typically worn because it’s very soft and malleable. You’ll often see the numbers 925 stamped or lasered on sterling silver. This means it’s 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals.
To ensure you get the best necklace possible, we use quality sterling silver here at Asha Blooms. The necklace chains are from the U.S. and necklace clasps are sourced from Italy.
One of the questions I keep getting asked is, why does silver tarnish at all? The short answer is science. 😄 Over time, sterling silver will change from a bright silver to yellow, gray, and eventually black. The copper in the metal meets sulfur in the air, and the color evolution begins.
Live in a moisture-rich area? Silver tarnishes faster in these high-humidity environments, which is the exact reason your jewelry should never be kept unprotected in your bathroom. These common behaviors and products will also speed up the tarnish process: swimming or showering, lotions, hairspray, perfume, deodorant and makeup, just to name a few.
So how do you clean it? Super-simply. I’m a no-frills kind of person and like as few steps as possible. Here are 3 different ways to clean your jewelry, one of which is DIY.
- Get a bowl and line the bottom with aluminum foil.
- Add in enough baking soda to cover the bottom, a pinch of salt, and hot water (not boiling) to cover everything.
- Place your tarnished sterling silver pieces on top of this.
- Wait a few minutes minutes and tong it out to dry on a non-abrasive cloth. I like to use non-metal tongs or my fingers to quickly fish it out. You may have to do this a few times, depending on how tarnished the pieces are.
The Polishing Cloth Method
- You can purchase a silver polishing cloth from virtually any place online (we sell them in our shop, too).
- Just use medium pressure and watch the tarnish slip right off the jewelry.
- You might have to polish for several minutes depending on how much tarnish there is.
- The cloth is supposed to get black, and there’s no need to ever wash it. You’ll know it’s time to change to a new cloth once it’s completely dark.
The Cleaning Solution Method
- There are a few good silver cleaners on the market, so just pick which one looks best to you.
- When using this method, I prefer to open up the windows, since there might be a sulfur smell, and I always use gloves to protect my skin.
- There will be directions on these types of cleaners, and my particular one says not to leave it in for longer than 60 seconds. Listen to the directions! I tend to dip for just a few seconds and take it out.
- Rinse the solution off in warm water and dry off the jewelry with a non-abrasive cloth. These solutions are typically intended for someone who has a lot of jewelry to clean. Be careful not to inhale any fumes or get it on your skin.
Three different methods for each type of person. Which one are you?