How to Clean Sterling Silver at Home: Your Complete Guide | Linjer Jewelry
Sterling silver is a mainstay metal in fine jewelry because of its timeless and long-lasting qualities. This precious metal is made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other alloy metals which is copper.
Just like any metal or gemstone, sterling silver jewelry needs special care to maintain its color and shape. Because yes, these pieces will tarnish—especially when exposed to air, sulfur, humidity, sweat, makeup, and other strong chemicals. This metal is prone to discoloration over time, especially if the jewelry isn’t frequently worn.
If your favorite sterling silver ring or necklace has lost its luster, try removing light tarnishing at home with these DIY mixtures!
How to Clean Silver Jewelry with Soap and Water
- Soak your jewelry in a mixture of liquid dish soap and warm water for 5-10 minutes.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub the surface and any crevices.
- Once you’ve finished, rinse the piece in warm water and pat to try. If soap and water didn’t remove the tarnish, try one of the mixtures below!
How to Clean Silver Jewelry with Baking Soda and Water
- Combine two parts baking soda with one part water to create a paste.
- Using a soft cloth, rub the paste on the sterling silver jewelry surface.
- Let the paste dry completely.
- Rinse with warm water and remove the paste. Pat dry your jewelry with a soft cloth.
How to Clean Silver Jewelry with Vinegar and Baking Soda
- To remove heavy tarnish, soak your jewelry in a solution of ½ cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
- Keep your silver pieces in the solution for two to three hours.
- Rinse and dry your jewelry.
How to Clean Silver Jewelry with Toothpaste
- Apply a small dab of toothpaste on a soft cloth.
- Gently rub the affected areas with a soft cloth.
- Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean cloth.
If these home methods still aren’t working, you may benefit from professional help from a local jeweler. Many jewelers offer professional jewelry cleaning services. They’ll either clean your jewelry in their shop or give you recommendations on how to restore your beloved piece.
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How to Prevent Tarnish on Silver Jewelry
You can prevent your sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing in the first place by following these easy tips and tricks.
Tip 1. Wear Your Sterling Silver Often
The more you wear your sterling silver, the shinier it will stay. Your skin’s natural oils will help prevent tarnishing and keep your piece shimmering. Just make sure you put your jewelry on after you're done getting ready for the day, so it doesn’t get sprayed with perfumes, sprays, and other cosmetics which may contain chemicals that are too harsh for silver.
Tip 2. Remember to Take Your Silver Jewelry Off
Avoid wearing your sterling silver while exercising, cleaning, bathing, swimming, or cooking. When coming in contact with sweat, chemicals, chlorine, salt water, and oils, your silver jewelry may tarnish.
Tip 3. Take the Time to Polish
To keep your jewelry in top condition, you may consider investing in a silver cleaner and silver cleaning cloth, microfiber cloth, or soft bristle brush. Before you store your jewelry, gently clean silver jewelry pieces with a sterling silver polishing cloth. This is an additional step that you don’t need to do every day, but it’s best to polish your pieces once a month to keep them shining.
Tip 4. Store Your Silver Jewelry in a Safe Place
Always store your sterling silver jewelry in a dry, cool place, such as your Linjer pouch, Ziploc bag, or jewelry box. Heat, sunlight, and moisture can all cause tarnishing. Avoid storing multiple pieces of jewelry together in the same compartment or jewelry pouch. You don’t want them to tangle or scratch each other!
Reminder: These cleaning and care tips are only for our sterling silver jewelry, not sterling silver plated in gold.
To ensure your sterling silver jewelry will last and be more resistant to tarnishing, you should always invest in quality pieces!
Our ethically-sourced sterling silver necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets are tarnish-resistant and designed for you to wear day after day. Discover our collection of timeless sterling silver jewelry that you’ll love incorporating into your daily looks.