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Why Does Sterling Silver Tarnish? How to clean + care for your silver jewelry

Why Does Sterling Silver Tarnish? How to clean + care for your silver jewelry

Ever wonder why Sterling Silver tarnishes so easily? We’re going to remove the mystery plus give you some great tips + care tricks 🙌🏻 ⇩

Sterling Silver is a solid precious metal that can tarnish in certain conditions and will need to be polished to bring it back to a shine.



▫️It may seem strange, but even the air works to tarnish your sterling silver. The moisture in the air that makes a summer hot and humid also works to tarnish that silver.

▫️The air around us also contains elements like sulfur that can accelerate tarnish on silver. Digging in sulfur-rich dirt, using care products with sulfur (shampoos, cleansers, etc.) or even exposing your jewelry to foods with sulfur (watch out chopping onions!) can lead to that darkening you dread.

▫️The acidity on your own skin can affect your silver. Some people find sterling silver tarnishes faster on them than it might on someone else. That also might mean something as simple as not wrapping it in certain tissues or papers that are acidic

So the bad news? Sterling silver can tarnish . . . by literally existing in our air, or on our bodies. But the much better news? We’ve got lots of ways to minimize or prevent tarnish before it starts, and polish it up even if it’s already there.


➊ Storing your sterling silver in an air-tight container is going to go a long way to keep the air dry and the piece tarnish-free.

➋ Oils from your skin help prevent silver from tarnishing, so the more you wear it, the more the oils can help keep it shiny new.

☞ If the oxidized look is not for you…

➌ Use a polishing cloth (you might have received one with your order!) It’s perfect for buffing out that everyday tarnish you see.

➍ If your piece is heavily tarnished, try lining a pan with aluminum foil, and soaking the piece in a bath of 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp baking soda. Wait up to five minutes. The aluminum, salt and soda work together to make the piece tarnish-free.

Shop our favorite Sterling Silver Jewelry HERE

Note: Jewelry with turquoise, opal or moonstone should never get wet. If your opal or turquoise accidentally gets wet, dry its surface using a microfiber cloth as soon as possible and let it naturally air dry for 24 hours. This will help any absorbed water leave the stone and restore its color to its previous state without any cracking.

Phew! That was long ☺️ Let us know how it goes with your sterling silver jewelry! We're here if you have any questions 🤍

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