How to Clean Silver Jewellery & 9 Best Practices to Store It - Without Spending Money!

Monday, May 15, 2023

Silver jewellery is one of the most popular choices when it comes to jewellery among women, simply because of its versatility, affordability, and of course its sheer beauty! It’s not only great for personal accessorising, but also makes for an excellent gift for the special people in your life! However, silver jewellery needs its fair share of maintenance to keep up its beauty. It is extremely important to be aware of the best ways on how to clean silver jewellery and the best practices to store them, to keep them looking new & beautiful.

Whether you're a silver jewellery lover or a beginner, this guide will provide you with some incredible tips on how to keep your jewellery looking as good as new. We’ll start by understanding the different compositions of silver jewellery and then explore the best ways to maintain them.

So, let's dive in!

Pure Silver vs Sterling Silver vs Silver Coated - What’s the Difference?

The composition of your silver jewellery plays a significant role in determining its care regime. Let’s first establish the composition of the three popular types of silver when it comes to jewellery -

  1. Pure Silver - 100% silver
  2. Sterling Silver - Alloy made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal, usually copper
  3. Silver Coated - A thin layer of silver over base of another metal

When it comes to tarnishing, pure silver jewellery tarnishes relatively slower as compared to sterling jewellery or silver coated jewellery..

What does Silver Tarnishing Look Like?

Silver has the nature of tarnishing over time, but sterling silver which is typically used for jewellery tarnishes quicker than pure silver. But how do you know whether or not your silver jewellery is in fact tarnished?

When your beautiful piece of silver jewellery starts to look dark, dirty or old, it has in fact, tarnished. However, there are some super easy tips on how to clean silver and store it properly to bring your stunning pieces of jewellery back to life!

How to slow down the tarnishing on your silver jewellery?

Avoid bringing your silver jewellery in extended contact with salty air, perfumes or deodorants, skin creams, hairspray, or chlorine. These external agents will tarnish your silver jewellery way quicker than it otherwise would.

How to Clean Silver Jewellery Without Spending Any Money!

Over time, silver jewellery becomes tarnished and loses its shine & lustre, making it appear dull and unattractive. To keep your silver jewellery looking beautiful and new, it’s important to know how to clean silver properly. Whether you have a valuable family heirloom or a new sliver statement piece for your special outfit, these low-to-no cost silver cleaning tips will leave your silver shining and bright!

How to Clean Your Pure Silver Jewellery

In a bowl of warm water, add a few drops of dish soap or a mild liquid soap, and mix well. Put your silver jewellery in the bowl and let it soak in there for a few minutes.

Please note, this method of how to clean silver at home silver is not suitable if your jewellery has pearls, wood or leather on them.

With a soft-bristled brush, scrub the surface of your silver jewellery till it’s completely clean. Dry them off using a soft cloth or soft towel, one piece at a time.

How to Clean Your Sterling Silver Jewellery

In a shallow bowl, combine baking soda and water to make a paste. Using a soft cloth, apply this paste on the surface of your sterling jewellery. Let it dry and once done, wash away the baking soda paste.

There is also an alternate way to use baking soda for cleaning your sterling jewellery. In a bowl, combine baking soda and distilled white vinegar and mix them well. Soak your sterling silver in this solution for at least 2-3 hours. Once done, wash the jewellery with clean water, dry them off with a soft cloth, and polish them before storing away.

Please Note: Baking soda should be used as a cleaning agent only for sterling silver jewellery, and can cause scratches on other kinds of silver.

Say ‘No’ to chemical cleaners

Never use a chemical cleaner for your silver jewellery. These liquid cleaners are way too harsh for your jewellery’s surface and end up removing the oxidisation, making the intricate detailing and design lose its charm.

How to Store Your Silver Jewellery

Proper storage is essential to maintaining the shine and beauty of your silver jewellery. Even when you know how to clean silver at home, storing it well should never take a backseat.

Here are the 9 best and low-to-no cost ways to store your precious silver jewellery-

  1. Separate from other metals

A good practice is to always separate your metallic jewellery on the basis of the kind of metal. Always store your silver jewellery separately, keeping it away from your gold, diamonds, pearl, or platinum. In fact, if you have certain silver jewellery that might have been made from inexpensive quality silver, keep that separate from your high quality silver jewellery too.

  1. Control the temperature

Too much heat or humidity can lead to tarnishing of your silver jewellery. Make sure to store your silver in a cool and dry place, especially if you live in a high heat and high humidity environment.

One of the great ways to do this is by storing your jewellery in an air-conditioned room or even investing in a good dehumidifier. You can also store them in a separate bag and put silica packets in the bag to prevent moisture.

  1. Use Chalk!

Storing your silver jewellery along with a couple of chalks in an excellent way to protect them from moisture. Chalks are dry and highly absorbent, making them a great companion for your beautiful collection of silver jewellery.

  1. Clean regularly

Maintain a regular cleaning and sealing routine for your silver jewellery. This may seem like a tedious task, but it’s worth all the time and effort to keep your jewellery looking high quality, every single time you wear it.

  1. Pick the right container

When you store your jewellery in an airtight container, no heat or humidity can tarnish it. Avoid using plastic or non-coated wooden containers to store your silver. Find an airtight container or an anti-tarnish wooden jewellery box to store your silver jewellery safe from the environmental elements.

Bonus Tip: Clean your storage containers using the same way you clean your silver jewellery to maintain it.

  1. Keep wearing them

Wearing your silver jewellery and not just storing it is one of the surprising ways to keep them from tarnishing! Staying stored for a long stretch of time also contributes to tarnishing of silver. Moreover, when one piece of jewellery gets tarnished, it begins to infect the other piece of silver around it as well. The best practice is to keep rotating and wearing your silver jewellery and cleaning them properly and regularly.

  1. Clean using organic or natural products

Picking out a cleaning solution is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make for your silver jewellery. The wrong type of cleaning solution could end up doing more harm than good for your jewellery.

Always check the ingredients of whatever cleaning products you use for your silver. The more natural or organic those ingredients are, the better they will work towards cleaning and protecting your jewellery.

  1. Don’t stash them away - Organise!

When your silver is organised properly instead of being stashed away somewhere, you’re more likely to wear it and clean it on a regular basis. Invest in creative organisers and storage solutions for your jewellery that not only do the job but look good as well!

  1. Get professional help

If you have silver jewellery that is tarnished beyond your capability of repair, find a professional jewellery who will help you assess the extent of damage and fix it to the extent possible, or find you a replacement if necessary.

Maintaining Silver Jewellery - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to clean pure silver jewellery?

The best way to clean pure silver jewellery is with mild soap and water. If the silver seems too damaged, you can take it to a professional jeweller for cleaning and tarnish removal.

What is the best way to clean pure sterling silver jewellery?

The best way to clean sterling jewellery is with baking soda and water paste, or with baking soda and distilled white vinegar solution.

How to keep my silver jewellery from turning dark?

You can keep your silver jewellery from tarnishing too quickly by cleaning it regularly, storing it properly and keeping it away from some harmful external elements like direct sunlight, heat & humidity, skin creams, perfumes & deodorants, hairspray, salty air, chlorine, and sulphur.

Is it safe to wear silver jewellery on the beach?

Salty air and excessive heat or humidity is not good for your silver jewellery and can make it tarnish way too quickly. This is why you must avoid wearing your silver jewellery to the beach if possible, especially during the day.

Is it safe to wear silver jewellery in the swimming pool?

Exposure to chlorine is not good for your silver jewellery, which is why you should avoid wearing your silver jewellery when swimming.

How to clean silver at home? What is the cheapest way to clean my silver jewellery?

Soaking your jewellery in a solution of water & mild dish soap, or a solution of baking soda & distilled white vinegar (only for sterling silver) are some of the cheapest and the easiest tips you’ll find on how to clean silver at home. You can also clean your sterling jewellery with a paste of baking soda and water.

What is the easiest way to store my silver jewellery?

The easiest and safest way to store silver jewellery is in a cool & dry place or in airtight containers, away from heat & humidity. You can also add silica gel packs or a couple of chalks in your jewellery storage box to absorb any excessive moisture around the jewellery. 

How often should I clean my silver jewellery?

You should clean your silver jewellery every couple of months or whenever it starts to look dull.

Can I wear my silver jewellery in the shower?

No, exposing your silver jewellery to water and chemicals can cause tarnishing, which is why you should avoid wearing them in the shower.


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