The way Silver shines is one of the main reasons this precious metal has never gone out of style.
But silver is prone to tarnish. Simply being in the open air will cause it to oxidize and turn black. This isn’t necessarily a mark of poor quality, all silver can be affected this way, but there are many tips and tricks to make sure your silver remains as beautiful as ever.
Firstly prevention is always better than cure. The best way to keep your silver shiny is to keep it away from the open air when it’s not being worn. It might seem a bit unglamorous but keeping silver jewellery in a sealable plastic bag when it is in your jewellery box will reduce oxidation.
Ironically, wearing silver jewellery a lot can also help. As you wear your silver your skin will slowly remove any microscopic signs of oxidation before you even know they are there. But what do you do if you have some older jewellery that has turned black, or you notice oxidation starting to appear? There are many different ideas for cleaning your silver at home. Here are our favourites:
Safety Tip: If you’re anywhere near a sink put your plug in before you start cleaning your jewellery, just in case you drop it.
Alka Seltzer Pop your silver into a glass or bowl of fizzing Alka Seltzer for a couple of minutes. Once the fizz dies down rinse off the jewellery and it will sparkle.
Baking Soda Mix up a thick paste of baking soda and water and gently rub the paste all over your jewellery. A soft toothbrush can help you get into any intricate areas. When all the marks have gone, rinse off, and then buff to a shine with a soft cloth.
Ketchup This might seem very strange but the weak acid in Ketchup really can help restore that silver shine. Rub the ketchup all over, using a toothbrush if necessary, and rinse off. Don’t leave the ketchup on for too long, as this will also tarnish the silver.
Vinegar This process works in a similar way to ketchup. Mix white wine vinegar with baking soda into a thick paste and cover the jewellery all over. Leave for a few hours and rinse with cold water. Dry the jewellery thoroughly with a soft cloth to help add a polished finish.
Aluminum Foil This one is perfect for any glamorous science geeks. Line a small bowl with aluminum foil and fill it with hot water. Mix in one tablespoon of bleach-free powdered laundry detergent and drop in your jewellery. Leave it to soak for one minute. Rinse well and air dry. This process is an ion-exchange method which makes the oxidation want to leave the silver and join the foil instead!
Of course regular care of your jewellery will make it last, and keep everything ready to wear at a moment’s notice. Of course it might be that some of your sliver jewellery is tarnished because you don’t wear it very often. Perhaps you just don’t like the piece anymore. If so, give Arabel a call. She can work with you to transform that piece into something unique and brand new, giving your precious silver jewellery a whole new lease of life.
If your silverware has been cleaned but still isn’t inspiring you to wear it our and about, maybe it can be made into something new. Take a look at Arabel’s bespoke jewellery service, which can give older jewellery a whole new lease of life.