Care of silver
Keeping Sterling Silver at its best is easier than you think…
Sterling silver is a wonderful material to produce finely crafted object from, and has been used for many thousands of years. As a natural material, silver reacts with its environment, especially the chemicals in the air and, over time, silver does become tarnished. This doesn’t mean that your fabulous new piece of silver is defective, far from it; it just proves it is good quality silver. How long it takes to tarnish (which is a slight discoloring of its surface) depends on how its treated. Silver made into jewellery and worn often will tarnish more quickly than a sterling silver Egg Cup and Spoon which is kept in its box or a cabinet.
The best way to keep it shining bright as new is to wipe it once in a while with a silver wipe or a dry silver cleaning cloth. Both will keep tarnish at bay if used regularly.
Haggerty make a fine range of silver cleaning products including dry wipes which come in a handy tub. Should you forget to do this and your silver starts to tarnish then its very easy to get your silver item back to its former glory and, like most things, the earlier you catch the tarnish the easier it is to get rid of it.
When tarnish starts to turn any colour from yellowy brown to black you may have to get it professionally cleaned. However, with regular and consistent loving care your silver item will be easily well maintained with a special silver cleaning cloth. (I do not really recommend silver dips, particularly on jewellery with stones as it can strip their colour). Silver cloths are specifically labeled and are non-abrasive. If using a detergent, make sure it is phosphate free.
Cleaning your silver regularly is the best way to avoid tarnish but there are other steps that you can take
Avoid exposure to household chemicals and latex
Take care not to spray your perfume directly onto silver jewellery
Do not wear silver jewellery in the swimming pool as chlorine has a negative effect
Do not put gold plated and silver plated jewellery together. The different metals will cause each other to tarnish, fade or turn colour.
Sterling silver is a magical material and one easily cared for and very rewarding to own.