Caring for sterling silver jewelry:
Charming Chick knows that it is important for you to make your sterling silver purchases last a lifetime, so we have compiled some helpful notes about how to care for sterling silver jewelry. We hope that this page is helpful, and if you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us.
What causes my sterling silver jewelry to tarnish?:
If you store your sterling silver jewelry in open air, you expose it to air and humidity, which can cause it to tarnish. Tarnishing is normal process that is caused by oxidization and moisture from air and even sunshine. All high quality sterling silver, such as the jewelry that Charming Chick sells, is subject to tarnishing. It sometimes first appears as a golden glow and can quickly turn to black. If you wear your jewelry regularly, body oils will help avoid some tarnishing. Charming Chick recommends careful storing of your sterling silver jewelry to avoid tarnishing.
Storing sterling silver jewelry:
To reduce tarnishing, we recommend keeping your sterling silver jewelry in an air-tight protective bag made of tarnish proof cloth or a plastic zip lock bag made of Mylar or polyethylene. Charming Chick stores and ships our jewelry in small zip-lock style bags for this reason. You can continue to store your jewelry in this bag if you wish, or purchase another larger bag for storing your sterling silver collection. If you properly store your sterling silver charms, bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings, brooches, etc., they will require minimal cleaning to keep that beautiful shine. Though sterling silver is difficult to scratch, it certainly is not scratch proof, so we recommend storing it away from other articles that might rub against it. Sometimes wood finishes can contain chemicals that are not good for sterling silver, so avoid storing on wood surfaces.
Cleaning sterling silver jewelry:
Often you can simply rub your sterling silver jewelry gently with a 100% cotton cloth to remove excess dirt and restore shine. Be sure not to rub too hard, because sterling silver is a soft metal that can be bent and scratched. Also insure that the cloth is very clean. Rub in a lengthwise motion, not circular since this can scratch the surfaces. You can use a very soft toothbrush to remove debris in hard to reach crevasses.
If you would prefer to soak your jewelry to remove dirt that seems to be stuck to the surfaces, add a small amount of very mild detergent to warm water. Do not use a detergent with bleach. You can also use a silver paste cleaner, silver dip polishers or silver polishing spray. Often these cleaners can damage gemstones and crystals (especially Swarovski crystal), so we do not recommend using these methods if your jewelry item is not entirely composed of sterling silver.
1. Always remove your jewelry before using abrasive chemicals such as bleach, alcohol, etc.
2. Clean your jewelry before storing it
3. Prevent tarnishing by cleaning before the silver becomes tarnished
4. Lotions can wear away at the finish on your sterling silver, so avoid wearing them on surfaces that come in contact with your jewelry
5. Remove jewelry when doing household chores