Small amounts of hydrogen sulfide in the air cause silver to tarnish over time. At the latest when a thin black film appears on your jewelry, it is time for a polish – for example with a silver cleaning cloth or tried and tested household remedies.
Tarnishing of silver is unavoidable when it combines with air (more precisely, the hydrogen sulfide it contains). In itself, the black coating is not particularly tragic, but it clouds the shiny look of your jewelry. Since the discoloration cannot be removed with water or commercial cleaning agents, you have to resort to other methods – such as a silver bath, silver polish or a silver cleaning cloth. We’ll tell you the difference.
This is how you give your silver new shine again
At first glance, a silver polishing cloth looks like an ordinary cotton cloth. But the difference lies in the details: the material actually contains a special active ingredient that can remove dark discolouration, tarnished areas and black deposits. It doesn’t matter whether you want to give jewelery or cutlery, trophies or coins, candlesticks or lamps, vases or brooches a new shine. As long as these are made of silver (or silver-plated), you can use the cloth anywhere. It’s best to do this with care, as over-polishing and frequent polishing will not only remove discolouration, but also – with each application – a small percentage of the silver (or alloy). For this reason you should use the silver cleaning cloth carefully and gently polish the material with little pressure.
Note: By removing the black deposits, the silver cleaning cloth will discolour over time – but this is not a big deal and should not have any impact on how it works. Important: You should not wash the material, otherwise it will lose its cleaning effect.
Alternatives to the silver cleaning cloth
In addition to the classic silver cleaning cloth, there are other methods of removing unsightly deposits from your jewelry or other silver objects. The best known include silver polishing and the silver bath:
Clean silver: The best home remedies
If you do not want to use chemical cleaning agents, you can also use tried and tested home remedies:
Another important note: Sensitive pieces of jewelery that are set with (semi-)precious stones or other natural materials such as pearls or amber should not be cleaned by hand. Better take the silver to a jeweler.
How to properly store your silver
As previously mentioned, tarnishing of silver over time is unavoidable unless you store your jewelry in an airtight container to avoid exposure to air. Sealable plastic bags are suitable for this. In addition, silver should always be stored dry in order to delay the tarnishing of the jewelery as long as possible. It is best to wrap valuable items in a dry cotton cloth to reduce air contact. And last but not least, it is also recommended to put a small piece of chalk in the container or plastic bag. It’s said to keep the air dry and help slow silver tarnish.
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