Consider this scenario: you’re heading out for a wonderful supper. You’ve chosen the ideal clothing, shoes, and cosmetics. You want to put your favourite piece of silver jewellery on as a finishing touch, but when you open your jewellery box, it’s covered in a horrible brown and black tarnish that makes it unwearable. So, what’s next?

While removing silver tarnish is simple enough, doing it incorrectly or with the wrong materials might result in further tarnish or, worse, harm to your jewellery.

Thankfully, understanding how to clean silver jewellery is easier than you would think, and just a few equipment and procedures are required. Cleaning your favourite silver pieces will become second nature after you’ve mastered the technique, and you won’t be surprised when you open your jewellery box to see a tarnished necklace.

Continue reading to discover how to properly clean your silver jewellery to extend the life of your favourite pieces and allow you to wear them anytime you want.

This article is all about how to clean silver jewellery. You might also be interested in our list of 10 easy cleaning recommendations for jewellery, which includes different metals and gemstones.

According to Wikipedia, tarnish is caused by a chemical interaction between a metal and a non-metal component, most often oxygen and sulphur dioxide, that results in the formation of a metal oxide (and occasionally metal sulphide or chloride) on the metal.

The good news is that regular silver tarnish is non-corrosive, and the metal behind the oxide layer should be perfectly fine. Silver, on the other hand, can tarnish when exposed to chlorine and acids, which can be more harmful to the metal and result in pits.

Tarnish can take the form of a patchy yellow, brown, black, or grey coating on the surface of your silver jewellery. Due to its copper element, sterling silver tarnishes more quickly than pure silver, and the tarnish is more apparent and deeper in colour. Pure (or fine) silver, on the other hand, can develop a matte grey oxide on its surface over time.

Because pure silver is too soft to be used in jewellery, most pieces are composed of sterling silver or similar alloys. However, you could have sterling silver jewellery with a pure silver coating on the surface, which can aid to resist tarnishing. Learn more about the differences between sterling silver and pure silver.

Necklaces and pendants made of sterling silver
Necklaces made of sterling silver

It’s natural for your silver jewellery to tarnish. Even the greatest silver jewellery tarnishes, so don’t blame your problem on the jewelry’s quality or the fact that it isn’t composed of actual silver. Tarnish, on the other hand, proves that it is indeed silver!

When silver is exposed to airborne gases, particularly sulphur, it discolours and darkens as it interacts with the gas, forming a tarnish coating on the surface. When silver is exposed to a variety of different compounds, a similar reaction can occur.

Your silver might tarnish due to a variety of factors in your daily life. These are some of them:

Creams for the hands
Perfumes \sSoaps
Chlorine from swimming pools or cleaning chemicals are used in makeup.
Your skin’s PH level
The air you’re breathing, particularly if it’s humid.
Silver tarnish is very hard to avoid, but there are several elements that might make it more or less noticeable and occur more or less fast. The good news is that you can control how severe the tarnish develops and clean your silver to restore it to its original lustrous condition.

Cleaning silver jewellery may be done in a variety of ways. The approach you choose will be determined by the condition of the object, the resources you have on hand, and how cautious you want to be.

Check the manufacturer’s care instructions if you acquired your silver jewellery online. They may also sell jewellery cleaning solutions that are suitable for silver. For your Simone Walsh Jewellery items, see our jewellery care and cleaning instructions.

Make sure you have at least two distinct soft towels on available, one for washing and one for drying, regardless of the cleaning method (or combination) you choose. Cloths that you would use to clean glasses or a mirror are likely to perform well here (microfibre cloths and similar are great).

Having some excellent quality absorbent kitchen towels on hand will also come in handy since the towels will readily mop up the water from rinsing your jewellery, making it much simpler to complete drying with the soft drying cloth you’ve left ready.

A soft bristles brush is also recommended for getting into tight spaces and removing dirt.

To make sure you’re prepared to clean your jewellery anytime you need it, we recommend creating a small kit that’s conveniently accessible and has all of the tools and chemicals you’ll need.

So, in order of least intrusive to most invasive, here are our cleaning recommendations. It’s possible that you’ll only need to employ one of them, or a mix of them. Let’s go to work cleaning…