Tarnish effects precious metals such as sterling silver and gold. In time, all sterling silver and real gold will tarnish, regardless of where you bought it from or how much you spent on it. Tarnish is inevitable, tarnish is natural, and tarnish doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your jewelry. It is just a natural process. We have to get our hair cut or it will start to look straggly. Same goes for your jewelry – you need to care for it and clean it so that is stays looking at its best!
Tarnish causes a dark and dull discoloration of your jewelry. It is a natural chemical reaction that occurs when some metals are exposed to the air. Another factor is hydrogen sulfide – and this can be found in the paper and boxes that you may use to store your jewelry in to keep it safe. Also, as summer is quickly approaching, the humidity will cause your silver to tarnish even faster! Anti-tarnish bags and polishing cloths can help minimalize the tarnish to your sterling silver jewelry. But, when the inevitable occurs and you notice your jewelry has darkened or become dull, there is GOOD NEWS! Tarnish is not permanent…AND it is easily removed!
Here’s a list of things that Silver has a bad reaction with: Wool, Rubber Bands, Latex Gloves, Oils from your Hands and Fingers, Ammonia, Chlorinated Water, Carpet Padding, Air Pollution, Perfumes, Hair Sprays, and believe it or not, some foods can even make Silver tarnish. Foods like: Onions, Mayonnaise, Salad Dressing, Eggs and Salty Foods. (Put down those Chips!)
In fact, just the humidity alone can cause Silver to corrode!
Tips To Help Your Jewelry Stay Looking Brighter Longer:
- Avoid wearing your jewelry in the shower, at the beach, in a swimming pool or in the hot tub
- Always be sure to store your jewelry in a dry place. I recommend storing it in a sealed plastic bag with an anti-tarnish strip or chalk. You can also use the little silica gel packs that you find in vitamin bottles. Keeping your jewelry in Tupperware or Rubbermaid bins also work great, especially those that seal air tight. This will not keep your jewelry from tarnishing, but it will delay the process.
- Avoid contact with hairspray, perfume, body lotions and put your jewelry on AFTER you have applied these things.
- After taking your jewelry off, clean it with warm water, then dry it with a soft cloth or a polishing cloth before putting it away. This will help to remove any residues that may be on your jewelry.
What Do I Do When It Does Tarnish?
There are numerous ways to remove the tarnish from your jewelry.
- When you order from A Timeless Impression, you are provided with a Pro Polish Pad. These pads work beautifully to remove the tarnish. If your charm is flat with little texture, place your pad on flat surface, then move it in circular motions. You can purchase additional Pro Polish Pads here (shown in the first video) and you can purchase the blue Polishing Cloths here (shown in the 2nd photo.) I like to use the Pro Polish Pad first, then follow up with the Polishing Cloth.
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- If you no longer have your cleaning pads and do not want to order any, another safe and effective way to clean your silver jewelry is to place a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of a glass pan. Heat some water to almost boiling. Lay your jewelry on top of the aluminum foil. Sprinkle equal amounts of baking soda and salt on top of your jewelry to cover it. Pour the water into the pan until your jewelry is completely submerged. Let sit for 5 - 15 minutes, depending on how tarnished the silver is. Once the water has cooled enough not to burn you, remove your jewelry and rinse in cool tap water. If your pieces still appear tarnished, repeat the process with a new piece of aluminum foil. Dry and polish with a soft cloth.
- There are many commercial silver cleaning products on the market. While these products will remove the tarnish, they may also remove any blackening that was applied. If this does happen, you can return your piece to me to reapply the blacking. I do not charge for this service. All I ask is that you cover your return shipping costs.
- Lastly, you may send your pieces to me and I will clean them free of charge. Again, all I ask is that you cover your return shipping fees.