Silver jewelry is a beautiful accessory that can complete an outfit, but it’s not something that you should just wear and forget about. Because of its reaction to sulfur particles in the air, silver can quickly tarnish, turning it dark and unattractive. Preventing tarnish is key, and the first step in that process is to store your silver properly. Place your silver in soft, anti-tarnish bags in a cool, dark place, away from moisture and direct sunlight. Some people also add a piece of chalk, a packet of charcoal, or silica gel to the bag, as these all help remove moisture and reduce tarnish. It’s also a good idea to remove your jewelry before showering, swimming, and doing the dishes, as these activities can cause extra moisture in the air.
Once your jewelry is clean, you can prevent tarnishing by regularly polishing it with a silver-polishing cloth or a soft lint-free cotton towel. To polish, simply rub the surface of your silver jewelry in straight, back-and-forth motions until you see it shine. Be gentle, especially on pieces with delicate details and crevices. A soft toothbrush can be helpful for getting into hard-to-reach areas.
If your jewelry is heavily tarnished, you can try using baking soda to get rid of it. The mildly abrasive ingredient is safe for sterling silver and can help dissolve the discoloration, but it shouldn’t be used on jewelry with stones, since the toothpaste could scratch them. You can also soak your silver in a bowl of distilled white vinegar with two teaspoons of baking soda to eliminate tarnish, but this method should only be used as a last resort, as long-term exposure to vinegar can damage the metal. how to clean silver necklace