Silver rings tarnish over time, it is natural, even if they are well cared for. It is possible, however, to make your silver rings shine and look sparkling and shiny. Cleaning silver rings isn’t as hard as you may think, and you can easily do it at home with items you probably already have in your kitchen.
What is tarnish?
Tarnish is actually corrosion. When a thin layer of corrosion forms over your silver rings it results in the dark ugly coat you may have noticed on your silver rings. The dulling is generally a chemical reaction that occurs when hydrogen sulphide or sulphur are present in the air. This is why it is best to keep your silver jewellery in an air-tight container. The jewellery will still come in to contact with the air when you wear it, but the process will be slowed if you store it correctly.
How to prevent tarnish?
Tarnish is natural but there is a few things you can do to prevent tarnish.
- Store your silver rings in a separate bag somewhere cool and dry. Make sure you store all your jewellery pieces separately. This prevents them from rubbing against each other and causing scratches.
- Place a piece of chalk in the bag, this will help to remove moisture form the air. You can also use anti-tarnish strips in each bag.
- Keep them away from direct sunlight. If they are placed in direct sunlight, they will tarnish quicker.
- Take your silver rings off before swimming or sunbathing as this can speed up the tarnishing.
- Put your perfume, lotions, cosmetics, and hair products on before you put your jewellery on. This will prevent the perfume from sticking to the silver.
- Wearing your jewellery regularly can help to prevent tarnish. The friction that is created when it is worn, slows tarnishing down. Your skin secretes natural oils, and this can also help to keep your jewellery looking shiny and new.
Cleaning silver rings with polish
Your silver ringsneeds to be cleaned properly every now and then, wiping them down with a cloth is fine but every now and then you need to put in some elbow grease and really polish those special pieces.
But how do you use silver polish?
- Place polish on a cloth, you only need a small amount of polish. You can also use a damp cloth.
- Rub the polish up and down. Do not rub in a circular motion as this might highlight any scratches on the silver rings.
- Make sure you turn the cloth around as you go to avoid tarnish building up.
- Once you have rubbed the rings enough, rinse with warm water and dry off properly with a dry cloth.
Five DIY methods to clean your silver rings
- Baking soda and aluminum foil. This is one the best methods to use at home to clean your silver rings. All you need to do is line a bowl with aluminum foil, pour some boiling water in and add baking soda (Use 1 tablespoon of baking soda for a cup of water). Add in your silver rings and leave for up to 3 minutes. Remove the rings, carefully as they may be hot. Dry them with a soft cloth.
- Lemon and salt. This method is pretty effective as well and will have your silver rings looking like new in no time. Full a bowl with the juice of a lemon, 3 tablespoons of salt and hot water. Add the rings into the water and leave for up to 5 minutes. Remove carefully as they may be hot. Dry the jewellery with a soft cloth.
- Toothpaste.This might sound very odd and it is a little, but it can be effective in cleaning your silver rings if you have nothing else available. Simply take a small about toothpaste and use a sponge or a toothbrush to rub it into the silver. Once you are done, rinse the jewellery in warm water.
- Ketchup.This sounds even stranger than toothpaste, but the results will speak for themselves. Put some ketchup onto a toothbrush and use a toothbrush to clean the silver rings. Once you are done, rinse off with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.
- Beer.Believe it or not this is a very effective method of cleaning silver jewellery. Soak your silver pieces of jewellery in a cup of beer for 5-10 minutes. Remove and rinse the rings, once you have rinsed then dry and buff with a soft cloth.
If you have antique pieces or pieces with intricate designs, you can also take them to your local silver cleaner to clean them professionally for you. Professional cleaners will know how to handle fine jewellery with a lot of detail.