Why, over time, does silver turn a dull grey colour or even black?
You may have heard this referred to as TARNISH
What's actually happening is a reaction between the surface layer of the silver and the oxygen in the air. In other words a layer of silver oxide is forming on the surface of your jewellery.
Certain conditions will cause the surface of your silver jewellery to react faster, so how you store your silver jewellery is a big part of how you look after it.
Below are a few things to AVOID exposing your silver to:
The chemicals in a swimming pool
Damp, humid conditions, such as bathrooms
Beauty products for skin and hair
If you are a fan of clean, bright, silver I recommend you:
Clean it regularly
Get into the habit of keeping hold of your old toothbrushes. They make great tools for cleaning the surface of your jewellery, especially if it's textured. Using some warm water and washing up liquid to clean the surface of your jewellery regularly will remove anything that might cause it to oxidise.
A mixture of baking soda and water can also make a great cleaning solution.
Dry your jewellery thoroughly
Getting your jewellery wet is fine, but make sure you dry it thoroughly afterwards. Remember that damp, humid conditions can cause silver to oxidise, so avoid leaving your jewellery to dry naturally. Use a towel to pat it dry or even give it a quick blast with a hairdryer to make sure no moisture is left within the texture of your jewellery.
Once you've cleaned and dried your jewellery, removing any dirt or chemicals that might cause oxidation, it's a good idea to give it a quick polish.
A silver polishing cloth is impregnated with polishing compounds that prevent tarnish, you can get them online or from your local jeweller. Simply use the cloth to gently rub the surface of your jewellery until it shines. The cloth itself will usually begin to turn black where you have used it, if you see this you know it's working.
Don't forget your chains! Just gently run the chain between your fingers and the cloth, a couple of turns should do the trick.
The more care you take when storing your jewellery, the less work you will have to clean it.