Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cleaning Silver Earrings

Silver has a beautiful reflective surface and a special shine which can get dull over time. The culprit is tarnish which can build up on all sterling silver objects. Tarnish is the dark silver sulfide film which forms when silver comes into contact with sulfur in the atmosphere and a few other substances.

If you wear your silver earrings regularly you are unlikely to get this build up but if you do find that your jewelry is getting dull you can revive it.

Cleaning Your Jewelry

If your jewelry came with a cleaning solution then be sure to use that as you know it will be fine for your silver. If it did not, try first of all to clean it in warm water to which a mild soap solution has been added then rise and dry gently with a soft towel or cloth.

If gentle washing is not enough to remove any tarnish you can wipe it with a silver cloth (which is a soft cloth impregnated with silver polish). After you clean your jewelry with the cloth then rinse it in warm water to remove any remaining chemical left behind from the cloth and dry gently with a soft towel.

Although you can easily clean stud and hoop type earrings in this way do be very gentle with delicate drop earrings as these can be easily damaged.

Storing Your Jewelry

You can help prevent tarnish building up by storing silver away from the air. You can buy flannel anti-tarnish bags from jewelry stores. (Check that they are suitable for the jewelry you want to store). Put the bags inside ziplok polythene bags to isolate your silver jewelry further from the air. If you can't get hold of anti tarnish bags wrap your jewelry in soft tissue before placing in the bags. Avoid wrapping in anything which has carbon or rubber in it as that can cause more damage.

Of course, none of this is necessary if you wear your earrings every day - just give them the occasional polish.

Prevent Damage

In order to prevent damage there are a couple of things you should try and avoid. Don't get perfume near your earrings. (Be careful if you spray the side of your neck - put your earrings on after your perfume) and don't wear them while swimming as the pool chemicals such as chlorine can react with silver earrings.

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