Do you have an ongoing love affair with silver jewellery? If like me you’ve got an ever-growing collection of treasures, you’re probably keen to look after it and keep it looking good for as long as possible.
I’ve recently received some beautiful sterling silver jewellery from Daisy London, and it’s got me thinking about all the things I do to take care of my collection – and where I can improve.
It’s all too easy to be a bit casual with silver jewellery care, and I’m certainly guilty of a bit of laziness now and then. But taking a little bit of time to protect, clean and store your jewellery correctly can make all the difference to the life of a piece and how good it looks.
5 easy silver jewellery care tips
Here are five really easy ways to look after your silver jewellery, so that you can enjoy it for years to come.
Limit water exposure
Let’s start with one that we all tend to forget: keeping silver jewellery away from water.
Sterling silver jewellery isn’t going to be damaged by coming into contact with water. However, the water we use on a daily basis is very likely to contain chemicals that can cause silver to become tarnished.
If you’d like to minimise the cleaning and polishing of your silver jewellery, it’s a good idea to limit its exposure to water. Get into the habit of removing your jewellery before showering and bathing, and remove rings before washing your hands.
You should definitely aim to remove silver jewellery before using a swimming pool or hot tub; the chlorine levels in the water won’t do your jewellery any favours. If you happen to leave your jewellery on, always remember to rinse it afterwards.
Avoid contact with beauty products
Moisturisers, perfumes, makeup and fake tan can all make silver jewellery tarnished.
If possible, you should avoid applying beauty products while wearing your jewellery. Wait until the products have dried, or been absorbed by the skin, before putting your jewellery on. This will minimise stains, tarnishing, and the need for cleaning.
Protect your jewellery from wear and tear
Obviously, wearing your jewellery will expose it to general wear and tear. You can limit that wear and tear by removing your jewellery when performing certain tasks.
Things like household cleaning, DIY, gardening, and sport are all activities that potentially increase the risk of damage to your jewellery. Remove it before you start, and you can easily avoid unnecessary scratches, tarnishing and breakages.
Tips for cleaning sterling silver jewellery
Cleaning silver jewellery can give it a new lease of life and really transform the brightness and overall look. Here’s how to clean sterling silver jewellery.
If your jewellery is dirty, as opposed to tarnished, good old washing up liquid is a good option. Add a few drops to a bowl of warm water, then pop your jewellery into the water and leave it to soak for a few minutes. You can use a soft toothbrush to gently clean in any hard-to-reach spots. When you’re done, rinse your jewellery in clean water and use a microfibre cloth to carefully dry it.
When dealing with tarnished silver jewellery, you can make your own cleaning solution by combining bicarbonate of soda with water in a ratio of 3:1. Use a microfibre cloth or a soft toothbrush to apply the paste to the silver, and rub gently. Rinse the paste off with water, then use a clean microfibre cloth to dry your jewellery.
Another easy way to clean tarnished silver jewellery is to buy a silver cleaning cloth. These contain cleaning agents to remove stains and tarnish. You can also buy cleaning dips or baths which do a similar job; these are particularly useful on silver chains which have lots of hard-to-reach areas.
Take extra care when cleaning jewellery that incorporates stones and insets, as cleaning products can damage these.
Store your jewellery properly
Jewellery care shouldn’t stop when you take it off. Scattering rings, necklaces and bracelets on a dressing table, dumping them in a drawer, or leaving them next to the sink is a sure-fire way to run the risk of damage.
In addition, leaving your jewellery collection out exposes it to more air, which speeds up tarnishing.
A well-designed jewellery box or case with lots of individual compartments lined with soft material is a great option for jewellery storage. You can even buy products that are made from anti-tarnish materials to reduce the need for cleaning even further.
Ideally you should store each item of jewellery in a separate compartment, to avoid tangles and scratches. Think about the amount of jewellery you need to store, and buy an appropriate size of case.
It’s well worth also having a travel jewellery box for when you need to take items out of the home. Transporting your jewellery is likely to involve lots of jiggling about, and a case that keeps everything secure and protected is definitely a good idea.
Hopefully these silver jewellery care tips have given you lots of ideas, and help you to look after your jewellery collection both inside and outside the home.