Wearing accessories is a must if you consider yourself a fashionable person. One of the most common materials used to make anything from rings and bracelets to necklaces and earrings is sterling silver. Now, chances are, if you have any sterling silver jewellery you’ve noticed it become slightly duller than it was from the first time you wore it.
You remember how shiny and glistening the ring was when you first bought it and now it seems like it has lost some of its shine. On top of all of that, you’ve noticed darkening.
Now, we know that those dark spots may look unappealing or even harmful, but that’s not the case – at least for the harmful bit. It may look unappealing when your rings turn dark – unless you’re going for a worn-down, rugged look. Be that as it may, it does not mean that your rings have gone bad beyond repair. On the contrary, they’ll still in their prime, they’re just a little worn out.
What does it mean when my rings turn dark?
What happens to sterling silver is a natural process called tarnishing. Tarnishing of the silver is something that will inevitably happen, no matter how much you wear, clean or take care of your jewellery.
Sterling silver is an alloyed metal. That means it’s a mixture of silver and some other metals, usually copper or zinc. One of the great ways to know whether you’re dealing with actual sterling silver, not some other metal coated to look like silver is to look for a ‘925’ marking. The 925 mark means that the material used to make the ring, or any other piece of jewellery, is 92.5% silver. Anything beneath the 92.5% is not deemed sterling silver.
Now, we were talking about tarnish. It’s something that happens naturally, it’s a simple chemical reaction of the mixed-in metals to oxygen and moisture in the environment. Basically, we call it tarnish, because oxidation might sound a little bit too harsh. But, essentially, it’s just a natural process of oxidation that ‘ruins’ your gorgeous accessories.
So, now we know what’s going on and why are our sterling silver rings crossing over to the dark side. However, what we don’t know is what we can do to prevent tarnish or how to make them shiny again. Well, we’ll learn in just a few moments.
Polish Your Rings
One of the easiest and best ways to keep your sterling silver shiny and good looking is to polish them now and then. You’ll need a polishing cloth for starters. A regular rug or a paper towel will not suffice. You might try with a microfiber cloth you use to clean your glasses, but there are better options. You should be able to find cleaning and polishing cloth for silver in most jewellery stores or you could order them online.
One thing to remember is that silver is gentle metal. So, unless you have a polishing cloth or a microfiber one, you should avoid using anything else no matter how soft it may seem to the touch. It could easily scratch your jewellery. So, if you want your beautiful silver rings you got from this website to look good for a long time, use proper cloth.
As you could probably assume, one of the best ways to keep things clean and good looking for a long time is by washing them now and then. Most of us own more jewellery than we can wear at one time so some items stay in the box for a long time. We’ll get to that later, but, the sterling silver actually tarnishes faster if you don’t wear. So, if you see some tarnish on the piece you haven’t worn in a long time, don’t worry. If there is not a lot of tarnish, you should be able to get it off with a gentle wash. Just use warm water and some mild soap to clean it and the ring should look as good as new.
Leave Commercial Cleaners To Professionals
If the ring is heavily tarnished, you may look for some other solutions other than water and soap. You’ll do a quick internet search and see some commercial cleaners and a few sizzling videos that showcase how powerful these cleaners are and the magnificent results afterwards.
However, keep in mind that commercial cleaners often contain chemicals that could be very dangerous if not handled correctly. So, the best thing to do if the tarnish is too great for you to handle is not to experiment with chemicals, but to take the jewellery to the store and have someone else do it for you. You’ll pay a little bit, but your rings will be as shiny as ever.
Baking soda and vinegar?
We’ve all heard about the magical powers of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Well, it’s once again true. if you don’t want to take your jewellery for professional cleaning, but polishing and warm water aren’t cutting it for you, you may want to create a little DIY cleaning solution.
There are probably a dozen of these homemade recipes for cleaning your sterling silver, but let’s just focus on the best.
A great way to clean your rings and do a cool little science experiment is to soak them in some vinegar and baking soda mixture. First up, fill a large bowl with a cup of white vinegar and add 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Once it gets all bubbly, dink your rings in there for 2 to 3 hours, remove and rinse afterwards with warm water. They should be good as new after that.
The final pro tip may seem like a gimmick, but it really isn’t. Probably the easiest way to keep your rings clean and good looking is to wear them as often as possible. Oils from your skin will coat the rings and keep them protected. Neat, huh?
There are a lot of other ways to keep your rings fresh and clean. From avoiding doing chores and washing dishes with harsh soap to properly storing it. One thing to remember is that even if you notice some darkening, it’s easily fixable. If you clean them every time you see the signs of tarnish, it’ll never get so bad that the professional cleaning is needed. Take care.