Colors 925 silver colors

How to make silver jewelry shine again

Silver is quite insensitive to environmental influences. In its pure form, however, the metal is too soft. That is why silver is alloyed and only then processed into jewelry, cutlery or decoration. If it is not used for a long time, it will turn black. How to clean your silver and protect it from being blackened again.

Why does silver jewelry turn black?

Pure silver reacts with hydrogen sulfide, which is contained in the air, and forms silver sulfide on the surface. This changes color and makes for the black color. This process is also called sulphuring. However, silver cutlery can be cleaned without any problems. It becomes more difficult with silver-plated jewelry: the thinner the silver plating, the more sensitive it is.

Clean the chain with a silver cloth or toothpaste

If you have a link chain made of silver, you can bring it back to shine with a silver cleaning cloth. If the chain links are also oxidized on the inside, you won't get very far with the cloth.

A good home remedy for such cases is toothpaste. Put this on a toothbrush and scrub the chains off thoroughly. The fine bristles can also clean the narrow spaces well. Rinse the chain under running water and check the result. You may have to repeat the procedure. Dry your chain with a hair dryer to prevent water stains from forming. Finally, polish the chain briefly, then it shines like new again.

Treat sensitive silver jewelry with care

Necklaces and earrings that are set with stones need to be treated differently. Toothpaste can damage the stones and leave grinding marks. You should only work on this silver jewelry with a cleaning cloth. Wrap the cloth around a toothpick when cleaning small indentations.

Even thin silver-plated jewelry is very sensitive. You should not polish this with a cleaning cloth. The pressure and the scrubbing movements run the risk of damaging the silver coating. Put the jewelry, a few spoons of table salt and a few strips of aluminum foil in a bowl of hot water. You can observe how the blackened surfaces shine silver again and how the film turns black.

The sulfide is reduced here: the ions contained in the saline solution release the sulfur from the sulfide compound, which then attaches to the aluminum foil.

Pearl jewelry requires special care

If you have pearl jewelry with a silver-plated part, it is quite difficult to care for it. You can neither fight the discoloration with silver cleaning cloths nor with saline solution - both damage the sensitive pearls. The best way to prevent discoloration is to keep the jewelry under lock and key at all times, wrapped in velvet.

As soon as you find the smallest dirt, you can wipe it off immediately with a soft cloth. If the silver surface has reacted more intensely with the hydrogen sulphide, you will not be spared a trip to the jeweler. He can make your jewelry shine again without damaging the pearls.

Silver cutlery is easy to clean

Silver cutlery and other larger and insensitive silver-plated objects can easily be given a brilliant shine. With a silver cleaning cloth, rub the blackened silver sulfide off the surface with gentle pressure.

You can also use toothpaste here. The slightly abrasive effect helps to remove the unwanted blackness. It is easier with the salt bath: It is much easier to put all the cutlery in a bowl than to treat each individual part separately.

How to protect your silver from tarnishing

If possible, prevent silver from tarnishing by preventing sulphonation. The following tips will help you with this:

  • Keep silver jewelry in small velvet boxes.
  • Rub necklaces and earrings thoroughly with a velvet cloth after each use.
  • Use silver cutlery regularly, not just on special occasions.
  • In the meantime, keep the cutlery in a closed, velvet-lined drawer.
  • Also put a velvet cloth as a cover on the silver cutlery to shield it from the sulfur in the air.