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The Ultimate Guide to Sterling Silver Jewelry Cleaning and Care

September 29, 2023131 ViewsShesFeel


This one goes out to all of the cool tones lovers. Your pieces have arrived and now you’re wondering: how do you keep them shining for as long as possible? When it comes to cleaning sterling silver, we’ve got you covered with our go-to advice. Let’s get into it.

What is Sterling Silver vs Silver-Plated?

925 sterling silver is an alloy made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. We plate our silver jewellery in rhodium, which gives it extra shine and durability. Rhodium is one of the costliest precious metals due to its rarity. All of our sterling silver pieces are stamped with ‘925’ to certify their authenticity.

Our sterling-silver plated pieces are plated with sterling silver on brass with a layer of anti-tarnish on top. These pieces are still incredibly durable and plated with exactly the same process as our sterling silver, however they are not marked with a ‘925’ stamp as they are not 92.5% pure silver.

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish?

Sterling silver can in fact tarnish – it’s a natural reaction of silver when exposed to elements like oxygen and sulphur compounds in the air, forming a dark layer on the surface and diminishing its shine. It’s never permanent though, and sterling silver jewellery can be easily restored to its original incredible-ness. Our sterling silver jewellery is rhodium-plated which protects it and helps reduce long-term tarnishing. 

Sterling silver can also tarnish when exposed to chemicals present in perfume, hairspray, make-up, nail polish remover, body oils, sun tan lotion and deodorant. Our number one rule is to keep away the chemicals.

Regular cleaning and proper storage can help prevent tarnish from occurring. Additionally, wearing your sterling silver jewellery frequently can also help minimise tarnishing as the natural oils in your skin can act as a protective barrier. 

How to Clean Sterling Silver in Three Steps

How Should I Store My Silver?

That soft-lined pouch that came in your recyclable Missoma packaging? Reuse it to store your jewellery pieces individually so they don’t rub together, scratch or tangle. Generally, your silver jewellery should be kept in a dark, cool and dry place. Living in a humid environment? Store your pieces with a small packet of desiccant crystals to help reduce tarnishing.

How Often Should I Polish My Silver?

We suggest a gentle polishing every few weeks to a couple of months, depending on how often you wear your jewellery. Less frequently worn pieces only need to be polished at most a few times a year. It’s really all about prevention by keeping your favourite styles away from chemicals and by storing them in the best way possible.

Tips for Cleaning Silver Earrings

We all want a shining ear stack. Cleaning silver earrings can be done easily with a few simple steps. Gently rub the earrings with the soft, non-abrasive, and lint-free cloth or chamois to remove surface dirt and oils. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and dry with a clean cloth. To prevent future tarnish, store your silver earrings in a dark, cool place and avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals or moisture. Regular, gentle cleaning will help keep your silver earrings looking their best.

Tips for Cleaning Silver Rings

Wanting to clean your stacking or statement rings? For deeper cleaning, use a mild washing up liquid with warm water, with a soft-bristle toothbrush, being careful not to damage any gemstones. Rinse the ring thoroughly with lukewarm water and dry it with a clean cloth.

Tips for Cleaning Silver Necklaces

When it comes to cleaning your silver layers – whether they’re chains, pendant necklaces, or intricate designs – it really is simple. Use your soft microfibre cloth to rub the necklace’s surface gently. As with rings and earrings, if the tarnish is looking stubborn you can always use a soft-bristle toothbrush for extra cleaning power. We don’t recommend the use of any jewellery polishing cloths which have been treated with cleaners or polishing agents.

Our cleaning tips above are our recommended way of taking care of your silver necklaces. However, especially with intricate or gemstone-studded necklaces, you might want to rely on local specialised cleaning services tailored to your specific piece.

What is the Best Home Remedy to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry?

While we don’t recommend them, there are alternative cleaning hacks you can use with your sterling silver pieces including baking soda. We would suggest working instead with mild washing up liquid and a soft cloth.

To clean sterling silver, you will need the following equipment: a soft microfibre or lint-free cloth, mild washing-up liquid, a soft-bristle toothbrush, lukewarm water, a clean and dry cloth for polishing.