Tarnish Schmarnish: A How to Guide to Keep Your Jewelry Sparkly
Tarnish - caused by hydrogen sulfide gases in the air that collide with the small traces of copper in your silver jewelry. Tarnish is the bane of every silver jewelry owner's existence.
If you are anything like me you most likely break all the rules when it comes to proper care of your jewelry. I am the first to lecture others and the last to listen to my own advice.
Here is what you should NOT do if you want to prevent tarnish:
- Do not store your jewelry next to your sink in the bathroom
- Do not shower or take a dip in the pool while wearing your jewelry
- Do not jump into a natural hot spring while...actually, jump into the freakin' natural hot spring cuz you're probably naked in some beautiful part of the world. You can deal with the consequences later in my "how to take care of your jewelry lecture section".
- Do not store your jewelry in clumps with other mixed metal pieces
Here is what you SHOULD do to prevent tarnish:
- Wear your jewelry! The oils from your skin put a lovely sheen and coating that ultimately protect your most treasured purchases.
- Store your jewelry in air-tight containers like zip-lock bags or that 32 piece set of Tupperware you have stored in the back of your pantry
- Stick an anti-tarnish strip (by 3M) in your air-tight container
- Corrosion Intercept makes a great anti-tarnish plastic bag, perfect for storing your valued pieces
- Store your jewelry away from water (i.e., no bathrooms, no hot tubs, no skinny dipping, capiche?)
Okay, so you did not listen to any of my suggestions listed above. Now what should you do?
- Buy a couple Sunshine Polishing Cloths. They're easy to use and super handy when you need a quick polish and buff. I use these religiously.
- Gently wash your pieces with unscented, clear dish soap and a soft toothbrush. If you are cleaning metal around stones or pearls use a cotton swab with mild dish washing liquid to wash only the metal.
- Pay a visit to a professional jeweler who will clean your jewelry with more advanced techniques and equipment