Silver tarnishes easily when exposed to moisture in the air and/or certain common chemicals found in food and some everyday items, namely, rubber products. Tarnish takes away from the beautiful, natural shininess of silver. You can polish silver that has tarnished, but it is often easier to prevent tarnish from occurring in the first place. All you need to safely keep tarnish at bay are special cloths.
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Things you need
- Storage box or display case
- Silver anti-tarnish cloths
- Airtight bags
- Silver polish
Purchase silver anti-tarnish cloths from a jewellery store or a fabric store. These cloths contain silver particles, according to the Adora Lane Jewelry website, that draw tarnish-producing elements away from your silver.
Place anti-tarnish cloths in your display cases or silver storage boxes. Alternatively, if you are storing silver in airtight bags, enclose a piece of the anti-tarnish cloth in the bag (or wrap the silver in the cloth before placing it in the bag).
Clean and polish your silver with silver polish. Allow the polish to dry completely before storing the silver. Lay, stand or wrap the silver directly on or in the cloth. If the area is dry and you are storing silver away from acids, salts and rubber products (don't use rubber bands when wrapping silver), then your silver should remain tarnish free for several months.
Tips and warnings
- Adding a desiccant pack (such as the kind that comes in shoe boxes when you purchase new shoes) to the silver storage area will also help prevent tarnish, by reducing moisture in the air around the silver.
- Avoid handling silver bare-handed as oils from your hands can cause tarnish, according to Jeffrey Herman, founder of Silver Restoration & Conservation. Latex gloves, which contain rubber, also contribute to tarnish. Wear soft cotton gloves while handling your silver products.
- Jeffrey Herman warns against using cling film and newspaper for silver storage, as these products contain chemicals that harm silver.
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