MAINTAINING STERLING SILVER JEWELLERY
- To avoid scratches, store in individual pouches/bags/compartments or individually wrapped.
- Clean your sterling silver jewellery with special silver cleaning cloths which can be purchased in most department stores.
- Read below on how best to store your jewellery
Store your jewellery in an airtight jewellery box or in a plastic zip lock bag with the air squeezed out. Save those silica packets that come when you purchase some items and place them in your jewellery box or plastic bag to keep the moisture out. Avoid storing in paper or cardboard boxes as the paper can contain acid which may accelerate tarnishing.
When cleaning, use a soft toothbrush, warm water, and dawn original soap. This is the process I use to clean the pieces at the end of the creation process.
Polishing your jewellery is usually the best way to clean it. You can pick up polishing cloths from many outlets including department stores and your local jeweller. Using these regularly is a great way to care for your jewellery before it becomes too tarnished. When polishing avoid areas that were intentionally oxidized as part of the design. It is pretty simple, following these guidelines of how to store, wear and clean your jewellery will dramatically prolong the life of your jewellery.
Tarnishing or oxidation is a result of oxygen or sulfur coming into contact with sterling silver. Tarnished silver is duller and sometimes a dark colour. I work with .925 Sterling Silver and because of the higher purity, silver like this will tarnish more quickly.
Many pieces are intentionally oxidized to achieve the desired look for the design. To maintain this oxidised look, do not use commercial silver polish or cleaners or dips as these will remove the oxidisation. Generally you do not need to clean oxidised jewellery. If needed, let it instead soak in warm water (not hot) with a little bit of mild detergent and gently dap dry the oxidised jewellery piece.
Sterling silver jewellery LOVES to be worn. Wearing your sterling silver jewellery can actually keep it from tarnishing! The natural oils from your skin actually protect and clean the silver. However, certain activities can cause your jewellery to lose its luster. Remove your jewellery before working out, taking a shower, swimming, cleaning, applying hairspray, putting on lotion or applying makeup.
The patina used to blacken the text may not last forever. Why? The mixture of daily wear, body chemistry, applying lotions, hand sanitizers, sweating, using cleaning products and others things can effect the patina. This is completely normal.