Sterling silver is an exquisite metal that will remain fashionable through generations; however, over time it can tarnish and discolour.
Tarnishing occurs as a chemical reaction between water and other chemicals coming in contact with silver and the precious metal itself, and so it is vitally important that steps be taken in order to avoid its destruction.
1. Salt Water
Salt water is an organically produced solution containing large concentrations of inorganic ions such as sodium and chloride that form essential natural substances essential to life, providing nourishment to aquatic life such as fish.
Saltwater can be found in various ecosystems, such as oceans, lakes and rivers. These bodies of water provide homes for various forms of life – fish species, marine plants/animals as well as coral reefs are just some of the inhabitants living within these waters.
Salt water may tarnish and discolour sterling silver depending on its chemical content; swimming pools for example typically use chlorine-treated water which reacts with its copper-rich composition and causes it to turn black due to chemical reaction with copper found within silver, thus discoloring or otherwise marring its finish.
Chlorine is not the only chemical capable of damaging sterling silver jewelry, but it is one of the primary culprits. There are however several methods available to you for preventing this from occurring.
Soap and water can help gently clean jewelry that has tarnished, while white vinegar or baking soda may provide additional polishing power to silver pieces.
The key to maintaining sterling silver jewelry for longer is keeping it dry after wear, and drying it properly after each use. This will help prevent it from tarnishing and ensure its value remains intact over time.
Additionally, when taking a shower or bathing in chlorine-filled environments such as the bathtub or sauna, remove jewelry to reduce exposure to any harsh chemicals present and preserve sterling silver’s beautiful finish for as long as possible. Doing this will also keep it looking its best!
Sterling forever also offers plenty of tarnishing-resistant jewelry pieces to ensure that your silver will continue looking its best over time. You could also try using lemon juice on your silver to remove tarnishing and keep its polished surface.
2. Chlorinated Water
Most communities utilize chlorine disinfection of drinking water to eliminate parasites and bacteria responsible for diseases like typhoid fever and cholera. Furthermore, this technique also reduces by-products produced during treatment processes – making the water even safer to drink!
However, chlorine-filled waters can tarnish and discolour sterling silver jewelry. When swimming or using hot tub facilities, remove your sterling silver pieces to protect their durability from chlorine exposure.
Salt water should also not be worn near sterling silver jewelry as its salinity can corrode it and make it appear dull or worn over time. Such saltwater environments include pools and beaches.
Chlorinated water can also be found in showers and cleaning products with bleach, which may damage sterling silver rings if applied directly onto sensitive skin.
If your jewelry has accidentally come in contact with chlorinated water, cleaning it using a soft cloth and silver polish can restore its shine while protecting against further damage.
Rhodium-plated sterling silver jewellery can also be damaged by chlorine and should be kept out of swimming pools and hot tubs, particularly if it contains gemstones that could discolour from being exposed to it. In such instances, gemstones could discolour and oxidise.
Finally, it is best to avoid wearing your sterling silver rings while showering as this can cause discolouration and tarnishing caused by saltwater in the shower, or chemicals found in pools and hot tubs such as chlorine.
All forms of water have the ability to discolor silver due to oxidation reactions with its chemicals, and their concentration varies from situation to situation.
If you plan to wear your sterling silver jewelry outside, be mindful that sunlight can speed up its tarnishing process, leaving it dull and discolored, with potential effects for gemstones in your jewelry as well.
Wear your sterling silver often and its natural oils from your skin will help “clean” and polish it as you wear it, helping it remain untarnished over time.
Keep your jewelry out of direct sunlight when not being worn to prevent dark gray or black tarnish that is difficult to remove from forming over time.
As soon as your silver is exposed to direct sunlight, it’s essential that it is removed and stored away immediately in order to avoid tarnishing. This step is especially essential if you plan on swimming or using a hot tub with your sterling silver jewelry.
One way to protect jewelry from tarnishing is to store it in an airtight container that keeps out sunlight and moisture. A ziploc bag works, though for optimal results it would be wiser to choose an airtight holder which seals out air.
To clean sterling silver jewelry, a polishing cloth or mild dish soap and water is ideal. Make sure that after each washing session, all jewelry is thoroughly rinsed off to avoid further tarnishing.
Lemon juice and olive oil can also be an easy, cost-effective way to keep your sterling silver jewelry looking its best! Wipe down jewelry after each wear to reduce tarnishing.
Hairspray is one of the most beloved beauty products on the market. Every woman should include it in her beauty bag as it can give any hairstyle lasting hold and help give their look lasting style.
However, moisture can damage and tarnish jewelry pieces over time, so it’s advisable to remove your sterling silver pieces prior to showering, swimming or using chlorine-based laundry detergents or bleaches on clothes you wear with them. This is also good practice when using chlorine-based bleaches on fabrics that wear alongside your sterling silver pieces.
One way to avoid tarnishing is ensuring your jewelry is stored correctly. Store it in an air-tight plastic zip-top bag or jewelry box that features tight lids to stop air from getting to it and cause it to tarnish over time.
Polish your jewelry regularly using a polishing cloth to remove dirt or oils that have accumulated on its metal parts. A soft non-abrasive cloth can be used for this purpose or visit a jewelry store to purchase chemically treated cloths specifically tailored for sterling silver pieces.
Finally, try using a mild soap and water solution on your sterling silver jewelry to remove tarnish and protect it from further wear and tear. It will work wonders without harming the delicate metal.
At all costs, jewelry must not become wet; should this happen accidentally, remove it as soon as you finish using it and put away safely.
Hairspray is a beloved beauty product, but its chemicals may be toxic. These ingredients may cause skin irritation – including red itchy rashes that aren’t dangerous but nonetheless annoying – as well as potentially harming hair growth if accidentally applied directly onto scalp or in contact with open flames or hot surfaces.
Jewelry made of sterling silver can become vulnerable when exposed to water, particularly when worn during showering, swimming pools or hot tub use that contain chemicals which could harm it.
There are ways to prevent corrosion of jewelry – one effective strategy is wearing it more often – the natural oils in our skin help keep it clean and prevent corrosion.
Attaining this goal involves limiting exposure to harsh chemicals or substances which could damage sterling silver, such as saltwater and chlorine, hairspray, and beauty products.
Pay attention to your skin pH as this can oxidize sterling silver and turn it yellow over time. To counter this effect, try regularly using a soap and water solution or silver cleaning cloths to keep it looking its best.
If your sterling silver comes into contact with water accidentally, the best course of action is to dry and store it until professional cleaning services can restore it. A mixture of baking soda and water may help remove tarnish from your pieces as an additional solution.
Remember that sterling silver can discolor when exposed to certain acids; most frequently encountered are vinegar or bleach-containing products containing acetic acid as the culprits.
If you suspect your silver has been exposed to chemicals, consult a professional jeweler for analysis. They can conduct an acid test by scratching an inconspicuous part of it to assess its purity.