Did you know that sterling silver is stronger than pure silver? It’s true! This is one of the reasons why it is an ideal material for jewelry.
And sterling silver jewelry is still very high-quality. It consists of around 92.5 percent silver (hence the “925” stamp on some pieces) and 7.5 percent of a different metal, often copper. This makes it an alloy and prone to tarnishing.
This is why it is super important to care for your sterling silver jewelry well. If you do, there is no reason why you cannot buy sterling silver jewelry and wear it every day. This guide explains exactly how to store, clean, and care for your jewelry.
Storing Your Sterling Silver Jewelry
There is a good reason why jewelry boxes exist.
The best place to store your sterling silver jewelry is in a cool, dark, and dry place. This means you should not keep it in a bathroom or kitchen where there is often moisture in the air. And this also means you shouldn’t hang your jewelry from hooks or displays where sunlight can damage the color.
Bedrooms are best. Invest in a jewelry box that has many sections so you can store your jewelry without it getting tangled up. This will help lessen potential damage and scratches.
Keep earrings in their boxes or in small compartments in your jewelry box. Stack bracelets on top of each other or keep them in small, organza bags. Lay necklaces down so you do not have to spend hours prying them apart when you want to wear one.
Cleaning Your Sterling Silver Jewelry
Learning how to clean sterling silver jewelry is easy because there are many ways of doing so. Choose whichever way works for your budget and your jewelry. Be mindful that some of your pieces will contain different materials as well as sterling silver which will affect the methods you can use.
Jewelry Cleaning Method for 100 Percent Sterling Silver Pieces
If your piece consists of pure sterling silver, you can use this method. These are the ingredients you will need:
- Baking soda
- Lukewarm water
- White vinegar
Mix half a cup of white vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda. Immerse your sterling silver jewelry in the mixture for two to three hours. Take it out, rinse with water, and leave to air-dry out of direct sunlight.
If you do not have access to white vinegar, you could use baking soda with water. Mix one part water with two parts baking soda to make a thick paste. Rub this mixture onto the jewelry and leave your jewelry for a couple of hours to dry.
Then, rinse the dried mixture with lukewarm water and leave it to air dry. Careful you don’t drop your jewelry down the plughole! Use a bucket or bowl full of water instead.
And if you don’t have baking soda or white vinegar, old-fashioned soap and water should work, too. This is an ideal method if you have never cleaned your jewelry before and want to choose the most gentle option.
Jewelry Cleaning Method for Mixed Materials
If you have jewelry from somewhere like DreamlandJewelry.com that consists of other materials aside from sterling silver, it is best not to immerse it in any mixture. What works for sterling silver may not work for other metals, plastics, or resin.
Instead, mix half a cup of lemon juice with one teaspoon of olive oil. Using a non-abrasive clean cloth, dip it in the lemon mixture and rub it onto the jewelry. Avoid any areas that might not react well with this cleaning solution.
Rub the sterling silver jewelry for as long as it takes to look clean. Then, rinse off with warm water, pat it dry with a towel, and leave it to air dry.
If you are at all unsure about the correct sterling silver jewelry care method to use, invest in a professional jewelry cleaner. That is likely the most foolproof option.
Polishing Your Sterling Silver Jewelry
As well as cleaning your sterling silver jewelry, you also need to polish it. This is to remove the residual dirt that cleaning lifts from the items as well as make them shine.
The best way to do this is to invest in a silver polishing cloth. When you buy sterling silver jewelry for sale from an official jeweler, they are sometimes included with the piece.
If not, you can buy glasses or camera lens cleaning cloth as the material is almost the same. Rub the piece for a few minutes in a constant circular movement until you remove the dirt and the piece of sterling silver jewelry shines brighter.
Be gentle, as you may scratch the sterling silver by accident if you are too harsh. Remember, it is an easy metal to tarnish.
Other Dos and Don’ts of Caring for Sterling Silver
There are other ways you can care for your sterling silver jewelry.
First, always take off your jewelry when you shower, swim, exercise, do chores, or anything else that makes you sweat. Do put your jewelry on last to avoid getting as little lotion and perfume on it as possible. Sterling silver does not like mixing with other chemicals and it does not like too much moisture.
But, don’t neglect your sterling silver pieces as wearing them often helps their appearance. Your skin’s natural oils help keep your jewelry looking shiny.
No matter what you do, oxygen or sulfur will react with your sterling silver sooner or later. You can either enjoy your jewelry and tarnish it or keep it locked in an airtight box and keep it pristine. The choice is yours!
Keep Your Sterling Silver Jewelry Looking Sharp
Sterling silver jewelry is one of the best materials for everyday, affordable, pretty accessories. Make sure you follow these tips so you can keep the jewelry sparkling for years to come.
Looking for more tips on how to care for your clothes, accessories, and other types of jewelry? Our website has you covered with tons of helpful guides.