Tips for storing and cleaning silver jewelry

Air and light are the two biggest foes of silver jewelry. So how you store your silver jewelry makes a big difference to how much it tarnishes. But there are many methods for cleaning it. Here are a few.

Tips for storing and cleaning silver jewelry

1. How to store silver jewelry

Always store clean silver jewelry in a cool, dry place, wrapped separately in a soft cloth and then enclosed in a resealable plastic bag to prevent it from getting jostled about and scratched.

2. Options for cleaning silver jewelry

  • Clean your silver jewelry once a month if you wear it often.
  • The best cleaner is still a good old-fashioned silver paste or liquid polish.
  • Apply with a soft cloth as instructed and then buff with another cloth. Rinse gently in warm water if needed.
  • Another method is to rub with a soft cloth dipped in baking soda, using a frayed toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas. Rinse well in warm water and buff dry with another cloth.
  • Still another trick is to line a small bowl with aluminium foil, shiny side towards you. Fill the bowl with hot water and mix in 15 ml (1 tbsp) of bleach-free powdered laundry detergent (not liquid). Put the jewelry in the solution and let it soak for a minute. Then rinse completely and air-dry.

3. To clean badly tarnished or dirty silver jewelry

  • Fill a small plastic bowl with warm water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
  • Soak the jewelry in the solution overnight.
  • Should the dirt persist after the overnight soak, clean the piece with an old toothbrush.
  • Then rinse and dry carefully with a soft cloth.
  • Specially treated anti-tarnish cloths, available from most supermarkets, may also be used to touch up silver jewelry.

4. Check the menu

  • Silver reacts badly to mustard, salt and tomato sauce, so clean it right away if it touches any of these foods.
  • And don't serve eggs or mayonnaise on silver surfaces, either — the sulphur in these foods will tarnish the silver.
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