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Tips for Cleaning and Caring of Silver Jewelry

Why does jewelry tarnish?

Jewelry is made of silver which is an alloy consisting of 925 parts of silver and 75 parts of  other elements, mainly copper. The share of copper helps make the silver harder and more suitable for jewelry making. Pure silver would be too soft for making jewelry.

Silver reacts with the oxygen and hydrogen sulfide components which are in the air which causes it to oxidize causing the yellow to black tarnish. This is a normal chemical reaction and not a sign of poor quality. Cosmetics, certain skin types, medications taken, nourishment and also the environment can additionally contribute to the fact that silver jewelry tarnishes faster on some people than others.

Satinized silver - as beautiful as it may be - tends to tarnish faster because the satin effect makes the total surface area of the jewelry larger and hence exposes more area for the oxidization.

How can jewelry be cared for?

Just as our clothing, our shoes and also our car, so also silver jewelry needs care and the correct use of appropriate agents. However also a few simple rules will help that your jewelry stays shiny for a long time:

+ Never wear your jewelry when swimming (chlorinated water and salty sea water speed up the tarnish), showering, bathing, in the sauna or while exercising.

+ Never store your jewelry in the bathroom, in the kitchen or in any other humid room or in a place with direct sun exposure.

+ Always rub you silver jewelry dry after wearing it and store it airtight (ideally in a zipper bag) in a dry, dark place (e.g. in the drawer of the bedside table)! Make sure that the jewelry is completely dry before putting it into the bag otherwise you will achieve the opposite effect.

Tips for taking care of your jewelry

+ Should your jewelry nevertheless have come into contact with cosmetics, sweat, chlorinated water or salt water, then clean it gently with the Sambol jewelry bath, rinse it thoroughly under running water and dry it properly. Make sure that also cavities e.g. at the settings, are dry.

+ If the jewelry is tarnished, polish it with a silver polishing cloth. In this way, the oxidized layer is removed, the shine and silver color become visible again and the surface is more sealed - the jewelry will not tarnish as fast again.

+ Satinized jewelry that is tarnished can not be cleaned with a silver polishing cloth; in this case the silver cleaning bath will help remove the oxidization (Amber bath for soft stones, otherwise silver bath).

+ Ensure that your jewelry is cleaned before immersing it into the silver bath. By cleaning it first, the dirt on the surface (e.g. sweat) is removed. Then in the bath the oxidized layer is removed. The better the jewelry is cleaned before, the more intensive the bath can remove the oxidization!

+ Completely immerse the cleaned jewelry in water first and then place the then wet jewelry into the bath and leave it in there for maximum 10 - 20 seconds. Notice how quickly the oxidization vanishes; usually this happens very quickly!

+ Take the jewelry out of the bath and rinse it very thoroughly under running water. Make sure that all residue of the bath chemicals is removed - also in the settings, on the rear side and in other cavities. Rather rinse somewhat longer than too briefly!

+ Dry the jewelry thoroughly after that and store it in a bag.

+ Jewelry with soft stones, e.g. turquoise, lapis lazuli and chrysocolla  should not be put in a silver bath - an amber bath is more suitable for these stones!

+ The amber bath is a good alternative for silver jewelry with stones, for which the silver bath is too strong. These can be placed in the amber bath for short applications (approximately 5 - 10 seconds) - please also follow the instructions of the amber bath! For jewelry with pearls and mother-of-pearl the amber bath is also not suitable.

+ Whenever possible, preferably use the silver polishing cloth rather than the bath because the polishing cloth is gentler and better for the jewelry and the environment.

+ The cleaning foam can be applied well with a cotton swab. Here, too, thorough rinsing and dripping is essential after cleaning.

+ Pearls should not be cleaned with the silver polishing cloth because that will make them look dull. Dirty pearls should be immersed in lukewarm water to which a few drops of mild soap have been added for about 15 to 20 minutes and then dried with a soft cotton cloth. Pearls that have become dull can be made shiny again with a small drop of olive oil. The settings around the pearls can be cleaned with a silver polishing cloth or with the cleaning foam. The cleaning foam can be applied with a cotton bud. Also in this case it is absolutely essential to thoroughly rinse and dry the jewelry after the cleaning. Should some cleaning foam nevertheless come into contact with a pearl, then rinse it immediately with lots of water.

You can find our wholesale assortment with all Sambol agents for cleaning and caring jewelry here.