Whether you opt for vintage style pieces or contemporary cool jewellery, knowing how to care for sterling silver jewellery will ensure your favourite items keep on shining brightly.
One of the more affordable materials, long-lasting sterling silver pieces make a great addition to your jewellery collection and with a little maintenance, you'll be able to enjoy them for even longer.
Sterling silver jewellery is strong enough to be worn every day. And the good news is that regular wear will prevent the build-up of tarnish, helping to keep your silver in tip-top condition. Sterling silver requires relatively little maintenance, but there are still a few things you'll need to consider if you want to keep your jewellery looking its best.
There are lots of things that may cause your shiny silver to look a little off colour, from prolonged exposure to water to encounters with beauty products and household chemicals. Here we look at the best ways to care for your silver jewellery to keep it as tarnish and scratch-free as possible:
Silver is a sturdy metal that can withstand a quick splash in the shower from time to time, but constant exposure to humid weather or water can contribute to oxidisation, leaving your jewellery looking dull. It's a good idea to take off your jewellery before showering, bathing, or unwinding in a sauna, or, at the very least, make sure each item is thoroughly dried afterwards if you leave it on.
The oils on your skin can affect the appearance of your silver jewellery over time, especially if you hit the gym or indulge in sweat-inducing activities regularly. And if you use gym equipment or play a contact sport, your jewellery is also at increased risk of becoming scratched or damaged. The best thing to do is remove your jewellery before exercising to keep it looking bright, shiny, and in one piece.
Make-up, perfumes, lotions, and creams may contain oils, water, and other ingredients that could alter the shine on your jewellery. Wait until applied scents and lotions have soaked into your skin or your skin feels dry to touch before putting your jewellery on to prolong its shimmer.
Some chemicals in household cleaning products, or even things like chlorine in swimming pools, can react with your silver jewellery changing its appearance. Wear gloves to protect things like rings and bracelets, or take them off entirely, when you're having a spring clean, and keep your jewellery safe and pristine by removing it before taking a dip in the pool.
If you take everyday precautions, you should find that your silver stays in good condition and will require very little attention. However, if you start to notice that your jewellery isn't as shiny as it used to or is starting to look a little discoloured, here are our top tips for cleaning your silver jewellery:
If your jewellery is only mildly to moderately dirty, it may just need a quick wipe over with a cloth to restore it to its full glory. Silver polishing cloths are special cloths containing a polishing compound. They're also made of a buffing fabric which brings out the shine in your silver. They last a long time and don't tend to cost a lot of money to buy.
Alternatively, you could also use a regular microfibre cloth to remove dirt from your jewellery pieces. Gently rub the jewellery using alternating parts of the cloth, using long up and down strokes. This will help to lift stains without damaging the surface with scratches.
Baking soda is a helpful tool to have in your jewellery cleaning belt. Chemical free, it a gentle and fizzy way to bring back the shine of your favourite jewellery items. It can be mixed with water to make a paste, lifting dirt from the surface with a soft-bristled toothbrush, or added to a bowl of hot water lined with aluminium foil to create a cleansing twenty-minute soak for your jewellery.
Make sure to rinse your jewellery well and give it a good dry afterwards for the full sparkle effect.
You may find commercial sterling silver cleaning solutions on sale, however, there's a possibility they could damage your jewellery if used incorrectly. They're also often not recommended if your item contains precious stones.
Proper storage of your silver jewellery can also help to maintain its condition and extend its lifespan.
Store your jewellery in a dark and dry place, like a jewellery box, a lined drawer, or a special travel case if you're off on holiday. This will help to limit oxidisation from the air. You may wish to add a couple of silica gel packets too, to help absorb moisture. Or, you may want to buy airtight anti-tarnish bags to protect your jewellery even further.
Before putting your jewellery away, wipe each piece with a cloth to remove any residue and dry it. You can also reduce scratches and avoid tangling by making sure each item of jewellery has its own space and not stacking pieces.
Taking the right steps to care for sterling silver jewellery will ensure you get many more years of enjoyment from it. Now you know how to care for sterling silver jewellery, check out the Britten Anthology jewellery collection and discover sterling silver necklaces, bracelets, and earrings to treat yourself or a loved one.