Your jewelry is an extension of yourself. What you wear each day is the first thing others see when you walk into a room. You can control your impression with your clothing and jewelry, so why not make it a good one?
If you haven't taken a look at your jewelry in a while, it might be time to inspect its quality. If your silver chains, rings, or bracelets lack shine and look dirty, cleaning them is easy and simple.
Why Does Silver Get Dirty?
Is your silver jewelry starting to display build-up or signs of tarnishing? If so, it's time to give them a tune-up to make sure they look their best.
But why does silver jewelry get dirty in the first place? There are a couple of reasons your favorite pieces may look less quality than you're used to –– tarnishing and everyday build-up.
Your pieces may be susceptible to tarnishing if you have authentic silver jewelry. When real silver is exposed to sulfur-containing gasses, it degrades over time and can look dark and blotchy.
This effect is reversible, but it can still cause your pieces to look less attractive. Cleaning off tarnished jewelry can help restore some of its sheen and appeal.
You wouldn't wear your clothes for weeks in a row without ever washing them. Your body oil, skin cells, and bacteria from your environment can build up each day. The result is dirty garments that need to be refreshed.
When it comes to your favorite jewelry, the same factors can impact your pieces. Although you might not realize it, the same dirt and bacteria can get into the crevasses of your jewelry and cause it to appear dull.
What Are the Best Methods for Cleaning Silver?
Once you realize your jewelry isn't looking its best, you can take action. You don’t have to spend tons of money on cleaning agents. Restoring your pieces to their former glory doesn't have to be a challenge.
We've rounded up a few easy cleaning methods you can try to get your jewelry looking amazing.
White Vinegar and Baking Soda
If you own sterling silver jewelry that is showing signs of tarnishing, white vinegar and baking soda can help you reverse these effects. Just be sure not to use this method on antique silver pieces.
Put your silver pieces into a bowl and cover them with a cup of white vinegar. Add four tablespoons of baking soda to the mixture. Then, let your pieces soak for an hour, rinse them, and dry them.
Aluminum Foil and Laundry Detergent
When your silver jewelry looks slightly drab, you can use aluminum foil and laundry detergent to revive it. For this trick, use a bowl lined with aluminum foil and fill it with hot water. Then, add around a tablespoon of laundry detergent to the water and agitate the detergent and water.
Next, add your silver jewelry to the sudsy water and let it soak for three minutes. When the time is up, remove your jewelry with tongs or another utensil to avoid burning yourself with the hot water. Rinse your jewelry till it's free of soap and lay it out to dry on a towel.
Toothpaste can help your teeth look their best, but did you know it can also help refresh your favorite silver necklaces, rings, and bracelets? This jewelry cleaning method proves that where there's a will, there's a way.
To clean slightly tarnished jewelry, add a dot of toothpaste to a soft cloth. Then, rub the fabric in circular motions where there are signs of tarnishing. Let the toothpaste sit for a few minutes, and then you can rinse it off and dry your pieces with another soft dry cloth.
Baking Soda and Water
Have baking soda and water nearby? If so, you can use these simple ingredients to clean tarnished jewelry. For this method, mix baking soda and water in a small container until thick paste forms. Apply the paste to the tarnished spots using a slightly wet, soft cloth.
After letting these pieces sit for several minutes, rub the paste into the tarnish in circular motions. Be careful not to scrub so hard that you create scratches on the surface.
If you're cleaning statement jewelry that displays intricate designs, some cracks might be hard to clean with a cloth. In that case, you can use an old, soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the hard-to-reach areas.
Are All Silver Metals the Same?
Let's say you want to commit to a few more silver jewelry pieces for the long haul. When considering new pieces, you might initially think all silver jewelry is the same. But the material your jewelry is made from can make the difference between a long-lasting piece and one that tarnishes quickly.
Let's take a look at the different types:
925 Sterling Silver
When a piece of jewelry is marked with “925,” you can be sure it's real silver. The “925” indicates that a piece of jewelry is 92.5% silver with only 7.5% alloy metals.
This type of jewelry is preferred by many, but it can require occasional upkeep as it tarnishes. The good news is that this kind of silver is easy to restore.
White gold is the name for silver-colored jewelry that is technically gold. This metal contains 75% gold and 25% nickel and zinc. Depending on your gold quality (10-karat, 18-karat, etc.), your piece may endure for a long time or quickly lose its sheen.
Silver-Filled and Silver-Plated
Silver-filled and silver-plated jewelry is typically more affordable. Because of their trendy designs and low retail prices, silver-plated pieces tend to win people over in department stores and everyday clothing shops. It's not a bad option to choose when you're in a pinch, but it may not last as long as other options if the plating rubs off.
Nickel jewelry tends not to go over well with many people. In fact, 18% of North Americans have a nickel allergy. Although this type of jewelry is cost-effective, it can cause the dreaded green skin when your skin comes in contact with cheap jewelry.
Premium Stainless Steel
Have you ever heard of stainless steel jewelry before? At CRAFTD, we use premium 316L stainless steel, which allows you to wear your jewelry without worry. This metal choice is durable and long-lasting so that you can enjoy your stainless steel pieces for decades.
How To Tell Good Silver Pieces From Low-Quality Metals
One of the sure signs of low-quality silver jewelry is fading and darkening within the first few weeks or months. Manufacturers might advise you to keep some types of jewelry away from water, but who wants to do that? Quality jewelry will continue to look excellent without special accommodations.
CRAFTD's Quality Materials
At CRAFTD, we're happy to offer you stellar jewelry that keeps its quality. We only use high-quality 18-karat plated gold and premium 316L stainless steel. As a result, you can expect your jewelry to last way longer than subpar materials.
No Tarnishing, No Fading
At CRAFTD, our jewelry doesn't tarnish. Whether you purchase gold or silver pieces, you can be sure they'll keep their color over time. Go ahead and go for a classic silver chain or a gold statement ring. They'll look every bit as good in several years as they do now.
How To Build Your Silver Jewelry Collection
Let's say you're wondering how you can start building out your jewelry collection. If you want to begin adding new pieces to your everyday clothing, getting started is a breeze.
Let's walk through a few easy steps:
Start With the Basics
First, it's a good idea to include some classic jewelry pieces in your collection. These pieces can ensure you look dapper throughout trend cycles. Consider a CRAFTD gold Cuban chain or snake chain. These pieces have stood the test of time and will continue to look good over your lifespan.
Adding essential jewelry to your collection can ensure you always have a strong foundation for your fits.
Choose Personal Pieces
Once you've purchased a few timeless jewelry pieces, it's time to choose a few items that represent your unique character and style. Think of these pieces as trademark elements of your style.
Let's say you've always held faith close to your heart. In that case, our CRAFTD Cross necklace could be a good fit for you. On the other hand, maybe you're someone who wants to blaze a trail in life. You can represent that drive with our CRAFTD Compass necklace. Adding pieces like these to your collection can separate you from everyone else.
Don't Be Afraid To Go Bold
Although keeping tried-and-true jewelry in your collection is a safe bet to fall back on, you should feel free to express yourself boldly. Try adding eye-catching elements to your look, such as our CRAFTD Dagger earring. These details can allow you to stand out in the best way.
Keep Your Silver Looking Right
Whether you've owned silver jewelry for a while or you're selecting silver jewelry for the first time, keeping your pieces looking good is essential. You can follow these tips to help keep your silver jewelry in tip-top shape. When you need to pick out new silver pieces, we've got your back at CRAFTD.
Homemade Cleaners | Kansas State University Extension
Green Cleaning Methods for Your Home | New Mexico State University
Type 316 and 316L Stainless Steels | ThoughtCo
Nickel allergy: How to avoid exposure and reduce symptoms | AAD