Cleaning Sterling Silver

Cleaning Sterling Silver


Traveling the internet as I sometimes do (as you already know LOL), I came across several ways and methods of cleaning sterling silver jewelry.

Before I get into what NOT to do, go see my other blogs on what TO DO.

Cleaning Silver with Stones

Cleaning Secret Recipe

And more, just click on either link and explore, there is a lot there.

This next picture is taken from one of the blog posts and it is the "after" shot!

Care of Silver - What NOT TO DO

Many sites recommend dish soap and water. What a joke. Try this and you will break the chain applying the correct amount of elbow grease.

Then there are the "new" silver cleaners. Thanks to the EPA, these chemical compounds DO NOT WORK either any longer, maybe 30 years ago they did, but your kids grow third arms if you use them too much. (joking - NOT!)

Here is a great one. Since Silver is so inexpensive (I cannot force my way into saying Silver is cheap...) just throw it away! WOW, just WOW. I can't think with that one. But looking at the above picture of the tarnished silver jewelry, well... maybe so.

Toothpaste? Dawn dish soap? - well, never mind.


First of all Sterling Silver is made from 92.5% PURE SILVER and 7.5% other stuff, usually copper.  But it will tarnish. Why?

As sterling silver comes into contact with Oxygen and Hydrogen Sulfide which is present in the air around us,  a chemical reaction occurs. (unavoidable LOL) This is called oxidation. NOTE: Oxidation is a primary sign that silver is in fact, Sterling Silver.

Over time, the silver starts to turn yellow and can even look like gold, but it gets darker and darker and blacker and blacker as time goes on. Then it looks like the first picture above.

Then there are the perfumes we wear. These can mess with silver jewelry. We always say put the perfume on, wait till it soaks in, THEN put on the necklace. Same thing with various lotions etc.

In fact mostly what keeps a necklace tarnish-free is our skin oil which coats it if you wear it 24/7. However, even that is not guaranteed. All of us have different levels of pH in our bodies, some more acid or more alkaline. I do not know which (acid or alkaline) reacts badly to silver but one of them does and if that is the case, you get tarnishing so bad it actually rubs off on you in black. You who have this issue know who you are. (solution - white gold)

Most Jewelry Stores have the factories PLATE their silver jewelry with some sort of anti-tarnish plating. From plastic-like substances to Rhodium and Nickel, these then avoid tarnishing.

We do not like Rhodium plating because it then does not look like silver anymore and as to Nickel, so many people are severely allergic to it, it is not even used anymore.

For the "plastic" types of anti-tarnish, they tend to wear off unevenly and you get a blotchy piece of silver, and in that case, we DO recommend just throwing it away.

The Solution

What is one to do?

Just go see our blog and we will enlighten you with our methods which we have learned over the past 40 plus years dealing with sterling silver jewelry.

And of course, while you are there, it is totally OK with us if you take a peek at all our lovely jewelry and get yourself some!

I would LOVE to hear from you about ideas on subjects for future newsletters and possibly even blog posts for the future. Please just go to our site and send us an email or just hit reply and let us know.


Until next week, have a lovely week.
Mary Elizabeth
The Jewelry Lady
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