Monday, 24 March 2008

Ever wonder how you can clean your Silver?

Silver jewellery gets dirty just from everyday wear and handling. Silver also gets tarnished when it is constantly in contact with oxygen and sulfur in the air. A tarnished appearance occurs when sulfur becomes bound to the surface of silver.

They (whoever "they" are) say that prevention is better than cure! Thus applying that same principle to your silver jewellery, it simply means, to prevent tarnishing and maintain a piece’s lustrous appearance, keep silver jewellery in a sealed bag when it is not in use. When placed in the sealed bag, make sure that the sealed bag is completely dry. Moisture will cause silver to tarnish.

Here's a couple of suggestions on how to clean your silver - (1) Jewellery cloth (2) Windex - indeed! Jewelry cleaning cloth is made up of two sheets of cotton: the outer layer is cotton for buffing, and the inside layer contains special chemicals that will whiten silver jewelry and make it look like new. Each cloth should lasts for dozens of uses. Hand polishing silver is a great way to keep silver shiny, and will not damage its patina. Jewellery cloth is for sale at most jewellery shops.

Perhaps the father character from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is not that far off! Windex can be used to clean your silver only if your silver does not also contain any cubic zirconia, glued stones, or other precious stones. Dipping the jewellery in Windex and then in clean water can make silver shiny again. It is not as effective as a jewellery cloth cleaner, but it can be used in a pinch when you’re getting ready for a night out and a jewellery cleaning cloth is nowhere to be found (and assuming you have Windex handy)!

DO NOT clean your silver with tooth brushes or any object with bristles. Silver is a very soft metal, and this will result in permanent scratches which will devalue your jewellery. It is also a bad idea to wash sterling silver jewellery with stainless steel jewellery. Washing them together will result in chemical reactions, staining the sterling silver jewellery with black marks. Also, using soap which contains phosphate can turn your sterling silver jewellery brown.

If you have any other tips, feel free to share them!

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