Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. It’s the other metals, primarily copper, that cause sterling silver to tarnish.
The copper reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air, causing the tarnishing reaction. Silver tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution.
❀The best way to prevent tarnishing is to store clean, dry sterling silver in a dry airtight container (zip lock) and out of light (natural and artificial).
❀Humidity can speed up the oxidation process that produces tarnish. Do not leave in kitchen or bathroom.
❀Minimize sterling silver’s contact to chemicals (hairspray, perfume, body lotion, bleach, etc.) and do not wear in the shower, swimming pool or hot tub.
❀After taking silver jewelry, cleaning it with a dry soft cloth before putting it back in airtight container.
CLEANING YOUR JEWELRY
❀Always remove jewelry before showering or cleaning. A film can form if soap or cleaning agents are not washed off completely.
❀Use a silver polishing cloth to remove oxidation from silver. Tissues and paper towels can cause scratches. We recommend using a Sunshine Cloth. Some of the charms are oxidized then polished and rubbing too hard can remove oxidations. Take care!
❀Commercial cleaners can be purchased at jewelry stores. Always remember to read the instructions on the commercial cleaners first before you attempt cleaning.
❀If you’d like to avoid harsh commercial cleaners and the polishing cloth doesn’t work, wash silver jewelry (without gemstones or pearls) in warm water containing a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid immerse the sterling silver in the water and gently hand wash. Use a cotton swab for tight corners. A soft baby toothbrush can be used for more abrasive cleaning when needed. Thoroughly rinse and completely dry the sterling silver before storing, as moisture is one of the factors that contribute to tarnishing!
❀If the jewelry contains gemstones do not submerge the entire piece into water. Instead, use a cotton swab with mild dishwashing liquid to wash ONLY the silver. Again, thoroughly rinse and and completely dry the sterling silver before storing as moisture is one of the the factors that contribute to tarnishing.