Do you ever wonder how to clean jewelry? If so, you are not alone. It is a question I often get when people purchase my jewelry. Fortunately, if they are purchasing any of my silver chain maille pieces, the answer is "Much easier because the pieces are made withArgentium Sterling Silver". As you may have heard me say before, Argentium Sterling Silver has the copper removed from the alloy and replaced with Germanium. Copper is why Sterling Silver tarnishes. The Germanium slows the tarnishing.
One of myfavorite braceletsfeaturing a Heathergems focal bead, is made with tarnish resistant Argentium Sterling Silver. Normal care will keep the bracelet clean. Plain soap and water does wonders if your bracelet gets normal soil. I often wear my bracelet in the shower. Two birds...
But eventually you may want to give it a better cleaning. There are many ways to clean jewelry. Some better and easier than others.I saw a Reader's Digest article that gives some different, easy ways to clean jewelry. I thought their suggestion of beer and especially, Corona beer, was very interesting. The purpose of cleaning silver tarnish is to remove the silver sulfide that forms when sulfur reacts with the silver. The sulfur gases in the air are the culprits. Humid air, also, the air in a beauty salon is an example, as they use a lot of chemicals in their various processes. Oils from your skin, cosmetics - perfume , some foods, especially eggs will hasten tarnish. And interestingly enough a volcano is a culprit, also.
The best thing of course it to prevent tarnish. Storing in a tarnish resistant cloth or even zip lock plastic bags help. They keep the bad air away. Ring by Ring Designs' pieces are always stored in a zip lock bags. Doesn't look "pretty" but it does the job. Clean with soap and water after wearing being sure to dry thoroughly is a must, before returning to the zip lock bag.
This suggestion reminded me of a childhood memory of my grandmother. She had a nice set of sterling silverware. After washing all the pieces after dinner, they were dried and laid out on the dining room table overnight before being put away in a chest lined with non-tarnish liner. It was one of my jobs to lay them - neatly - on the table. She never polished the pieces at all. They still looked beautiful.
My personal choice is anything that is not messy. So, ketchup and toothpaste would not be high on the list. I've never tried the aluminium foil method. You must also consider any beads, pearls, gemstones that are part of the pieces also. They require special treatment. For a quick method, I like a dip that is a commercially available for jewelry (not silverware). Hagerty Silver Clean is available from most bead stores or on line. Quick in and out, and as with any method thoroughly rinsed and dried.
Let me know if you have a favorite cleaning method.