Are you looking for a way to clean your oxidized silver jewelry at home? In this article, we will explain why sterling silver tarnishes, how to store your jewelry to prevent it from oxidizing quickly, and provide you with a technique to clean your oxidized jewelry yourself at home and restore it to its original shine.
Why Does Silver Jewelry Tarnish?
Sterling silver, also known as 925 silver, oxidizes when it comes into contact with ambient air. Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, and copper oxidizes by reacting to humidity in the air. That's why your jewelry can become tarnished if you store it in your bathroom or a humid environment. Chemicals like bleach, body and styling products can also speed up the oxidation process.
Tips to help you care for your silver jewelry
- Keep your sterling silver jewelry in a low humidity environment. Avoid storing your jewelry in the bathroom, as it is the worst place to store it.
- Store each piece in airtight bags, such as small Ziploc bags. At Ve, we keep each of our jewelry items in small Ziploc bags and then store them in an airtight box with compartments. This helps them retain their color and polish for a long time.
- Wear your jewelry often. Friction with the skin and contact with natural oils can help protect and cleanse the jewelry.
- Clean your silver jewelry with a soft dry cloth or a silver polishing cloth. Regular cleaning can save you hours of cleaning in the future. Ensure there is no dust on your cloth to avoid scratching the pieces.
- Avoid wearing silver jewelry in the shower, pool, or hot tub, as the humidity can cause oxidation.
- Apply styling products, perfumes, deodorants, lotions, and makeup before putting on your jewelry. Wait until your skin has absorbed the lotion before wearing the jewelry.
How to clean silver jewelry at home
You will need:
- Salt or baking soda
- A bowl
- Aluminum foil
- Hot water
This homemade DIY sterling silver cleaner is one of the best ways to clean your jewelry at home. If you have tarnished earrings, rings, chains, and bracelets in your jewelry box, use this method to restore the shine to your tarnished silver jewelry naturally.
This method effectively and gently cleans and shines silver and stones, removing oxidation without scratching the jewelry. If your jewelry is slightly oxidized, the oxidation should completely disappear after cleaning.
Ensure that this method won't damage any gemstones on your jewelry. The mixture is generally gentle on most stones, but please check the care instructions for your specific stones if you are unsure.
Here is how to proceed:
- Line the bottom of the bowl with aluminum foil.
- Add a tablespoon of salt or baking soda to the bowl.
- Pour hot (almost boiling) water into the bowl and mix until the baking soda or salt dissolves.
- Submerge the jewelry entirely in the mixture and let it soak for 5 minutes.
- Rinse the jewelry in cold water under the tap to remove the salt or bicarbonate. Use a soft cloth or microfiber cloth to wipe them.
- Polish each piece by rubbing them with the cloth in a circular motion. Apply a little pressure to make them shine!
- With these tips, your jewelry will look like new!
I hope this helps you clean and restore your oxidized silver jewelry at home!