You’re bursting with delight at the awesome artisan necklace you just purchased. It’s your new "go-to" piece of handcrafted jewelry. You wear it every single day… never take it off… even at night, on your daily run and in the shower.
Sadly, after a couple of months, you notice your favorite shiny accessory has lost a bit of its luster. But… what can you do about it? How do you find its inner shine again without resorting to toxic chemicals?
Fear not. Here are several great tips for keeping sterling silver jewelry looking great. The first step is to inhibit tarnishing.1. Avoid sterling.
What?????? We hear you. But you LOVE sterling silver! White gold is nice, but oh-so spendy. If your local artisan shop knows its precious metals, they will likely have some (if not all) of their silver designs fabricated with Argentium silver. It’s real silver, but that teeny-tiny bit of tarnish-loving copper that makes sterling… well… sterling, is replaced with germanium. Germanium and oxygen are a true love affair on a bed of silver. Together they can all but banish tarnish. Ask for Argentium whenever possible.
2. Zip it up!
But what about all that awesome sterling you’ve already bought? Easy. Store your sterling silver jewelry in zip-style baggies. You know… the kind you buy for sandwiches? They’re affordable, easy to find and perfect to keep your semi-precious metal jewelry from coming in contact with oxygen and moisture - it’s two most evil adversaries. They’re also super convenient for travel.
3. Take it off. Take it all off.
We know you love to wear your “signature” necklace all the time. But really… take your jewelry off every night, before showering and swimming. After you remove it, take an old t-shirt and just give it a quick wipe to remove your natural body oils, fragrances and lotions. Now see tip #1. Seriously, it’s your best defense.
If you aren’t the type to embrace preventative routine or simply don’t have the time, here are several tips for cleaning your silver, safely and organically.
This is for light tarnish. Take your favorite minty toothpaste (paste… not gel or whitening strips) and rub with a clean t-shirt onto your sterling silver. Rinse and dry.
5. The Big Soak
Mix 1 cup of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda together. Then slowly pour the mixture into a foil lined pan. Slowly add the 1/2 cup of vinegar, place jewelry so each piece touches the foil. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse in water and dry. Buff with a clean t-shirt. Love that shine!
6. Ionic, not Sonic.
If you have a lot of silver jewelry that includes beads, crystals, gemstones or diamonds and you want to make sure the color stays bright and safe… go online and buy an ionic cleaner. Do NOT buy a sonic cleaner - that technology uses vibration to remove dirt and might harm pearls, turquoise, opals and other soft stones. Ionic is like magic. It’s just soap, water and electricity. Immerse your jewelry piece, press a button, watch the bubbles and VOILA! Like new.Our only recommendation for an ionic cleaner is the Speed-brite Ionic Cleaning System - it’s totally safe, delightfully organic and works like a shining dream.
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