Cleaning Silver

Cleaning, polishing and caring for silver! Our beloved items deserve it!

Caring for Crystal Chain Jewellery – Your Guide

Sterling silver is a strong and resilient metal. With a little care our jewellery should last for many years.

Over time, any sterling silver jewellery exposed to air will tarnish. It is the other metals, typically copper, that make sterling silver tarnish by reacting to moisture and sulphur in the air. Areas with high humidity and pollution can speed up the process.

Storing silver jewellery

We have found that the best way to prevent silver tarnishing in the first place is to seal it in a plastic grip bag, ideally wrapped in acid free tissue. This will prevent contact with the air and will almost entirely eliminate any tarnishing. Another alternative is to keep it in an airtight jewellery box minimising exposure to air.

It is also important to always allow any perfumes or makeup to dry on the skin before putting your jewellery on. This will reduce the risk of a chemical reaction causing discolouration or damage on the surface of the silver. Never spray perfume on your jewellery! Furthermore avoid wearing jewellery in the shower for the same reasons caused by soaps and gels.

Of course our beautiful jewellery is designed to be worn. This will inevitably result in some tarnishing over time. Here are some ways of cleaning them!

 

First Recommended Cleaning Method : Silver polishing cloth

The easiest way of cleaning plain silver jewellery if you need a quick result.
Please be aware that sweat and dirt from the environment may also contribute to the discolouration!
We advise that you wash the items in warm water before using silver polishing cloth. These are widely available from supermarkets. Apart from removing the tarnish, these cloths contain a chemical which helps keeping it shiny for a longer period of time. When not in use it is best to keep it in an airtight bag, because the chemical may evaporate over time.

 

Second Recommended Cleaning Method : Old-fashioned solutions

For more intricate silver designs which are difficult to clean with a cloth we suggest using an old method. It has proven successful on our products and this is how we keep the jewellery shiny on the shelves. Instead of using very expensive liquids all you need to do is open your kitchen cupboard to take out the aluminium foil and baking soda (not powder)!
Some of these liquids may even harm the metal if you leave it too long in it. With the following solution you don’t have to worry about this either. It takes up about three active and ten passive minutes from your time.
 


1. Find a mug or a small bowl, which is not needed anymore.

2. Tear off a piece of aluminium foil and place it in the mug with the shiny part facing upwards covering the whole mug.

3. Place the items in the mug (not too many at once) and top it half way up with boiling hot water.

4. Sprinkle it straight away with bicarbonate of soda (about 1 spoonful). You will experience a chemical reaction. 

5. Leave it for at least ten minutes.

6. Pour the water out without touching the liquid if possible.

7. Wash of the baking soda in clean water.

8. Dry it with an unwanted towel.

9. If it has not reached the desired result, repeat the process or leave it overnight.

10. Try using cheap aluminium foil (containing more aluminium) and good quality bicarbonate of soda for best results.

Naturally this method does not apply for items holding any glue because the boiling water may dissolve the glue, resulting in the stone falling out. You may try this method by putting the item in the water when the glue can resist the heat (typically after 2-3 minutes ) and leave it overnight. The dirt should still dissolve in the water and you can easily wipe it with a dry cloth.

Do not use this method on gemstones and pearls!

Third recommended cleaning method: Water

It is a good chance that your silver is simply dirty. Use hot or warm water depending on the products (see above advice about glue) to get rid of it. Make sure you dry your jewellery afterwards. Humidity will increase tarnishing.

We advise to regularly clean your jewellery if you are wearing the same item constantly. Germs and bacteria can build up on it and you may want to wash them out properly.

Please do not use dishwasher liquid as the chemicals in it may also do some damage. We know it is an old trick too, but since then the ingredients have changed.

Notes

We will be producing a video on cleaning silver with these methods. In the meantime we suggest you view one or two of the many videos available on this subject online.

Like any other product you purchase, jewellery has its own ‘user manual’. Please follow our guide!

Crystal Chain reserves the right to refuse exchange or refund if the item was misused. It is possible to tell what harmed the silver from the shade of the colour it will take.

Please be careful and take care of your jewellery!