Posted by Rachel on April 13, 2014
Do you have treasured silver that you worry can't be salvaged, or new pieces that you want to prevent tarnish from forming in the first place? Whether your jewelry has turned black or just needs some basic polishing, we have tried-and-true tips to bringing out the shine in your sterling.
1) Make sure it is, indeed, .925 sterling silver. If it is not sterling, has been chemically treated in any way, or is even partially plated with anything, the proper way to care for the item will differ.
2) Store your items in air-tight bags, such as Ziploc sandwich bags. When not in use, doing this will slow down or even completely prevent the tarnishing process. To further aid tarnish-prevention, you can place anti-tarnish strips inside of the bags.
3) Use a treated polishing cloth. It is a good idea to polish your jewelry with a polishing cloth that is specially treated to clean sterling silver. If you have any porous stones in the piece, you'll want to avoid them and work the cloth around those. We have used Hagerty brand silver polishing cloths for decades.
4) Use silver spray, a polishing cloth, and soft toothbrush for the nooks and crannies of items such as chains, and for items that are black with tarnish. I prefer to spray the silver over the cloth, and then run the toothbrush over the tarnished area. I then wipe away excess spray, and repeat this process if necessary.
5) Wear your jewelry frequently! The more you wear your sterling silver jewelry, the less it will tarnish. This is thanks to the oils in your skin coming into contact with the silver.
With regular maintenance and proper storage, your jewelry will stay shiny and ready to wear on a moment's notice!