Due to its chemical properties, silver is a metal that loses its shiny over time. If you feel that your silver band, your pendant or your silver necklace is not as shiny as it used to be, it's completely normal . Today, we invite you to discover how to maintain your silver jewelry in the rules of the art.
Silver, a metal that oxidizes
Before getting into the heart of the matter of the maintenance of cleaning silver jewelry, a bit of theory. Silver, symbol Ag and atomic element 47, is a precious metal which has been one of the 7 sacred metals since Antiquity.
Silver metal is very malleable, which is why solid silver jewelry is not 100% made of this metal, otherwise the very creation of the jewelry would not be possible. In its purest form, jewelry is made of 92.5% silver (this is called silver jewelry .925). Used since time immemorial to make jewelry, silver was also the currency that facilitated trade: coins were minted in this metal, in addition to gold.
The oxidation of silver is a completely natural phenomenon, which occurs when the metal comes into contact with oxygen or sulphur. The other metals mixed with silver make it possible to reduce this oxidation. This therefore means that this phenomenon is not synonymous with poor quality of the jewel. In fact, the higher the silver content of the jewel, the more marked the oxidation will be. But rest assured, there are tricks to slow down fading, and even eliminate it.
Caring for silver jewelry: the rules
Let's start by listing the rules to follow to slow down the natural phenomenon of silver tarnish.
- Avoid contact with water: This means not wearing your silver jewelry when you take a shower, when you are in the swimming pool, in the sauna… in short, in all wet places
- Avoid contact with chemicals: Cleaning products, but also creams and sprays, can attack silver. So avoid putting your jewelry in contact with chemicals, whether it's when you're cleaning, at the beach (sunscreen), or when you're indulging in a beauty session
- Avoid contact with air: Don't worry, we're not going to suggest you move to the Moon. When you wear your jewels, they will inevitably come into contact with the air. But when you're not wearing them, you can put them in vacuum bags. Ideally, you'll add a small sachet of silica, or a piece of chalk, to the bag to absorb the moisture
Periodic silver cleaning
If you have silver jewelery that features patterns or engravings, impurities will systematically lodge there. The problem does not arise with a minimalist silver band. It is still good to carry out a periodic cleaning of this kind of jewellery. Why?
It is in contact with your skin, which is not always perfectly clean and which can produce a natural oil which is deposited on it.
Some silver jewelry has been voluntarily oxidized for aesthetic reasons. Care must obviously be taken to avoid treating them. For regular maintenance, it is enough to use a special cloth for jewelry which will avoid scratching them. The choice of fabric is all the more important since silver is a metal that scratches very easily. Rub in the direction of the metal to avoid scratches. Circular movements are therefore to be avoided. Regularly change the place of the duster that you use to clean the jewel.
Silver Jewelry Care: Restore Its Shine
Have you been religiously caring for your silver jewelry on a periodic basis, but it has become dull? This is completely normal, although the process can take several months to several years, depending on the conditions in which the jewelry was placed and the degree of purity.
Don't worry, there are solutions to restore them to their former glory. These tricks work just as well for necklaces and silver bracelets as for earrings or even metal coins.
Aluminum, water and baking soda
Here's a trick that's just as amazing as it is effective. Take an ordinary saucepan and place a aluminum foil in the bottom. Add a liter of water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Bring everything to a boil then immerse the jewelry in the mixture for about ten seconds, more if they are heavily oxidized.
After taking them out, draining and drying them, they will shine as if they were almost new. For the most severe cases of oxidation, manual cleaning may be required using one of the methods below.
Baking Soda Dough
If the method for cleaning silver jewelry below did not work, add water to two tablespoons of baking soda to make a paste consistent. You will then use it to clean your silver jewelry using a soft cloth or a special duster. Rinse thoroughly, then pat with a dry cloth to remove as much water as possible and dry well.
Warning, this method is only valid for jewelry without stones.
Polish for silver jewelry
This solution is a small investment, but may be safer than using other sometimes recommended options, such as toothpaste.
Indeed, toothpaste is often cited as a good cleaner for silver jewelry, but given all the chemicals that can be found in this kind of cosmetics, it may be risky. The special silver jewelry polish has been specially designed for this purpose, so it's risk-free. Please note that you should not use polish for cleaning gold, platinum or other metals such as steel.