Sterling silver is a commonly used precious metal for jewelry for its affordability and for it is lustrous color, versatility, and durability. Sterling silver is commonly used in Irish Jewelry like claddagh rings. But beautiful sterling silver jewelry requires good care or it could tarnish, losing its shine and luster.
Sterling silver is silver that has been combined with other metals. If a jewelry item is made of sterling silver, it means that it typically contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Hence the popular term when referring to sterling silver jewelry as 925. Other metals like nickel and copper are combined with silver to make it stronger but it also means it will tarnish.
Tarnish is corrosion that develops over sterling silver jewelry, causing an item to discolor and lose its shine. It typically occurs when the sterling silver reacts with the hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere. This is why silver is often recommended to be store in a sealed bag. Regularly wearing and cleaning your sterling silver jewelry helps to deter tarnish.
Cleaning your sterling silver with a mild dish washing detergent is important. It is the first cleaning method you should do before trying other complex silver cleaning methods.
Cleaning Sterling Silver
To get started, fill a medium-sized bowl or basin with warm water and add about 6 drops of mild dish washing liquid. Next, dip a soft brush into the solution and gently scrub the silver item with it.
Cleaning Plated or Rhodium Plated Silver Jewelry
In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup of a mild liquid detergent with 1 cup of warm water. Then, soak your rhodium-plated items in the solution. Leave the items in the soapy water for about 10 minutes, but don’t let the jewelry sit any longer than 15 minutes. The extra time could cause damage.
If this method doesn’t achieve the desired result a professional cleaning and or refinishing at your local jewelry store might be necessary from time to time.