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How To Keep Your Sterling Silver Jewelry From Tarnish

Tarnishing occurs when there’s interaction with molecules and sulfur. Most 925 sterling silver is 7.5% copper. When copper is exposed to oxygen, salt and moisture, it causes discoloration. Although you can't completely protect silver from air, heat, or moisture, you can do your best to limit exposure.

Wear Your Jewelry Often

Believe it or not, the best way to prevent sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing is by wearing it often. The oils in your skin will serve as a cleansing option for the silver and maintain its brilliance.

In-between wears, wipe down your jewelry and make sure it’s completely dry before storing.

Avoid Exposure

It's also important to put jewelry on last, so it doesn't come into contact with beauty products or perfume.

To keep silver jewelry pure in the impurities of life, there’s a couple of substances you need to stay away from:

    During household chores—such as dishes, laundry or any instance that involves cleaning supplies—it’s best to take off your jewelry. These chemicals can erode the shine in your silver.
    Another list of big enemies of sterling silver jewelry include cosmetics, lotions, hair sprays, hair products, and perfumes. These products accelerate tarnishing. When applying these products, it’s important to ensure they settle in before putting on your jewelry.
    Any outdoor activity—whether it’s the gym, contact sports, gardening, or swimming—has the potential to damage your jewelry. During these activities, it’s best to ensure your jewelry is removed, dry and in airtight storage.

Humidity and sunlight are also damaging to sterling silver.

Storage Is Key

Exposure to air tarnishes sterling silver. It’s important to store silver in individual, airtight plastic bags. Links or chain bracelets should be unclasped or unhooked so there is not any scratching. As mentioned above, humidity is also damaging—so make sure your storage area is low humidity.

Another option to store jewelry is an airtight and soft fabric-lined box for individual pieces.