It’s a wonderful thing to go shopping for a beautiful bracelet, handcrafted and superbly finished in Sterling silver. You know you’ll love it forever, it’s sooo you. It could be a fabulous pair of drop earrings with a brushed finish or a statement ring that is a knock-out, they all come with similar conditions. The question is, how do you clean silver jewellery to keep it looking great during their lifetime?
Well like an expensive handbag or a favourite part of shoes, you must wear them and love them, and just a little care can go a long way.
This definitive silver jewellery care guide will give you all of the tips and information that we professionals use and recommend to our clients.
How to care for your silver jewellery on a daily basis
In my experience, most damage and wear to your jewellery will occur not when you’re wearing them but rather when you’re taking them off and placing them till next time.
The best way to store silver jewellery
Placing your jewellery in a box on top of other jewellery will scratch them against the other pieces and after a while, this will do serious damage to the surface of the metal. If at all possible keep all of your jewellery in separate, soft pouches or plastic bags. Keep earrings separately as they will damage each other.
The only pieces of jewellery that will show wear and tear from normal use are rings, bracelets and bangles as these come into contact with other surfaces and objects all the time. When you think about it, earrings and necklaces are kept well away from harm.
So here is our advice:
- Buy a soft lined jewellery box with enough room for all of your valuable pieces. When you finish with your jewellery, carefully place them in their compartment, taking care not to touch other pieces.
- Never sleep with long earrings on, they can get badly misshapen and damaged.
- Avoid sleeping with necklaces on as some chains, especially omega and snake chains, don’t like being bent or twisted, as eventually, they will break.
What causes silver to tarnish?
Tarnishing is a reaction to the air or the acid in your skin that causes the silver surface to change to a yellow or brown. Some chemicals and detergents can also affect the colour of the silver.
The best way to clean silver jewellery
Daniel Bentley silver jewellery has tarnish resistant properties, however, should tarnishing happen you can follow these simple steps to remove the discolouration
- Line the bottom of a small bowl with aluminium foil and place the tarnished piece on top.
- Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda on and around the piece.
- Cover the piece in boiling water, (the water will fizz and bubble).
- After approximately 30 seconds, carefully remove the piece and rinse in warm water, and dry immediately inside and out with tissues.
- If the tarnish is not removed leave the jewellery in the water for a few minutes before removing.
NOTE: If your piece contains pearls or opals, do not use boiling water as this may affect the glue. Use water no more than 50ºC.
Cleaning brushed vs polished silver
In our collections, we often use a combination of brushed and polished surfaces to give the piece of jewellery a look that compliments the design. A textured surface will last if you look after it.
The first tip is: don’t use polishing cloths on these pieces, as you will effectively polish out the matt surface.
After a while, textured surfaces will start to look shinier and will have to be re-done. This is quite straight forward and something we do regularly.
So choose a piece you love, understanding that all surfaces will need care and servicing.
A round of applause
You may have never thought of this but clapping your hands is one of the most damaging things you can do to your rings. We have had many clients bring their rings to us with seemingly inexplicable dents and broken gems. After a quick look, we could determine that the damage was caused during a party where there were many speeches and a lot of clapping.
When you’re wearing rings on both hands, you have to be very careful not to smash them into each other when you clap. Sounds silly, but this can have devastating effects especially if the rings have turned inward and the gems are getting smashed against another ring. Please be mindful of this!
Your jewellery is some of the most precious and meaningful possessions you will have. They symbolise so much and carry memories of your life. Take care of them, love them and they can last a lifetime—it’s important to know how to clean silver jewellery.