When cherished sterling silver darkens, it's often due to tarnish. Here's a concise overview of why this happens and how to address it.
Why Does Sterling Silver Turn Black?
Tarnish occurs when sterling silver reacts with sulphur-containing substances, especially hydrogen sulphide, in the air.
Factors that speed up tarnishing:
- Pollutants: Living in high-pollution areas or coastal regions can cause faster tarnishing.
- Skin's pH: Some individuals may cause silver to tarnish quickly due to their skin's natural oils and pH.
- Household Substances: Chemicals, cosmetics, and certain foods can trigger tarnishing.
How to Prevent Tarnish
- Clean Regularly: Wipe your items with a soft cloth after wearing them.
- Safe Storage: Store in a cool, dry location, preferably air-tight bags.
- Avoid Exposure: Remove jewellery during household tasks or when applying beauty products.
- Frequent Wear: Wearing silver can reduce tarnish, thanks to the skin's natural oils.
Restoring Your Silver
- Polishing: Use a specialised silver cloth to lift tarnish.
- Mild Soap: A gentle cleaning with lukewarm water and soap can do wonders.
- Baking Soda Paste: A mix of baking soda and water applied with a cloth can remove the tarnish.
More on polishing
- Use a specialised polish cloth, such as Town Talk silver polish cloth;
- It should be a 100% Cotton cloth impregnated with a solution to remove tarnish and give a lasting shine.
To Sum Up
Tarnished sterling silver can be disappointing, but it's reversible. Proper care ensures your jewellery remains lustrous.