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How To Care for Sterling Silver

how to care for your sterling silver jewelry


Silver is one of the most durable metals available, and if well taken care of, can last a lifetime. It is also hypoallergenic and great for those with sensitive skin. One question we get a lot here at Tiny Tags is how to care for sterling silver jewelry. Let’s answer some common questions about silver! 


How long will silver last? 

Our jewelry can mean so much to us, so we want to make sure it will last as long as possible. High quality sterling silver can last for decades if well taken care of. It’s important to clean it and store it properly when not being worn. Silver will also last longer if kept away from harsh chemicals such as lotions, perfumes, hand sanitizers, and many soaps. 

Does sterling silver tarnish? 

The short answer is yes - all silver will tarnish. Even Tiffany’s! Silver can tarnish when exposed to harsh chemicals, as well as swimming in pools and the ocean. Some climates can cause tarnishing too - those with high humidity or if you live close to the ocean.

Why does silver tarnish? 

If we want to get technical here, pure silver doesn’t tarnish. But pure silver isn’t strong enough to make jewelry out of, so it is mixed with copper to strengthen it. If you look at the back of your silver Tiny Tags, you will see a “925” engraved. This means there is 92.5% silver (the minimum allowed for silver jewelry) and 7.5% copper. It is actually the copper that tarnishes in silver. 

How long does it take for sterling silver to tarnish? 

It’s difficult to put an exact timeline on how long it takes for silver to tarnish. It can depend on many different factors such as what kind of chemicals you come into contact with, swimming in pools, and what beauty products you use. The better you take care of it, the longer it will last. 

How to prevent sterling silver from tarnishing? 

To prevent your sterling silver from tarnishing, keep it away from harsh chemicals, keep it dry, store it correctly, and clean and polish when needed. Take it off when washing your hands or swimming, and keep it in a secure bag or box when you’re not wearing it. You also want to take it off when exercising.

Does sterling silver rust?

Although the pure silver in sterling silver doesn’t rust, the copper added can react to oxygen, salt and moisture and will tarnish. Tarnish is different from rust, which usually appears on iron. When an item rusts, it can start to crack and can actually cause metal to deteriorate.

How to get rust off sterling silver? 

Sterling silver shouldn’t rust, but it can tarnish. To get the tarnish off your sterling silver, wipe it with a polishing cloth, wash it with some dish soap and water, or use an ionic cleaner. You can also try other DIY methods for cleaning your silver jewelry. Storing it properly will help keep the piece from tarnishing.

Does sterling silver fade? What makes sterling silver fade? Does sterling silver turn colors? 

While sterling silver won’t fade or turn colors, it can tarnish over time if not properly cared for. To keep your silver from tarnishing, keep it dry, store it in a cool, dry place. And you always want to keep your silver away from harsh chemicals. 

How can I clean my silver jewelry? 

Here are 5 tips to clean and maintain your sterling silver: 

1. Wipe with a polishing cloth: the easiest way to clean your silver! Wipe it with the polishing cloth included with your Tiny Tags order.
2. Keep it away from chemicals: the best way to clean your silver is to prevent it from needing cleaning! Remove your silver jewelry when using harsh cleaning solutions, and keep it away from lotions and perfumes.
3. Take it off when at the beach or pool: Chlorine and salt water are very damaging to silver jewelry, so it’s best to take off your pieces when swimming.
4. Store your silver jewelry in a cloth pouch in an airtight plastic bag, away from sunlight.
5. Another great way to clean your silver jewelry is to soak it in warm water with a drop of dish soap, then rinse and dry with a clean cloth.

      If you take the time to care for your silver jewelry there is no reason it can’t last for years. Since it’s durable and easy to clean, go ahead and wear your silver and enjoy it!


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