silver on cloth

The Do‘s and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Silver Jewelry

The correct and safe methods for cleaning silver jewelry, as well as what to avoid.

Jewelry is a timeless accessory that has been used to complement outfits for centuries. From sparkling diamonds to intricately designed silver and gold pieces, jewelry can add the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. However, with constant wear, jewelry can quickly lose its shine and begin to tarnish. To keep your jewelry looking its best, it’s important to properly clean and care for it. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the do’s and don’ts of cleaning your jewelry, including the best ways to clean silver jewelry, how to avoid damaging your pieces, and the best jewelry cleaners for tarnished silver. So, next time you’re tempted to try a DIY solution, reach for a trusted brand like Hagerty instead.

Do Use a Gentle Silver Jewelry Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning silver jewelry, it’s essential to use a gentle silver jewelry cleaner. Silver is a delicate metal and can easily become scratched or damaged if not cleaned properly. To avoid damaging your silver jewelry, use a cleaner specifically designed for silver. A gentle silver jewelry cleaner will remove tarnish and restore the shine to your silver jewelry without causing any damage. 

Don’t Use Baking Soda, Salt, and Aluminum Foil

One popular DIY tip that has been making the rounds on social media is the use of baking soda, salt, and aluminum foil to clean silver jewelry. While this method may seem like a cost-effective and easy solution, it can actually cause more harm than good. Baking soda is abrasive and can scratch the silver, and salt can cause pitting and corrosion on the metal. Additionally, the aluminum foil can react with the silver and cause discoloration. If you’re looking for a similar solution, then you can try using Hagerty Silver Clean. It’s a safe and effective way to restore the shine and luster of your sterling and silver plate jewelry without causing any damage.

Most importantly, the true value of fine silver jewelry is in the skills and craftsmanship of the silversmith who carefully burnished the silver until it sparkled with a beautiful, deep blue hue. However, over time, if not properly cared for, that beautiful shine can fade, and the silver may become dull and tarnished. Leave the baking soda, salt, and aluminum foil trick for a rainy day science experiment, and protect your family’s heirloom silver with a proper polish!

Do Use a Soft Brush

When cleaning your jewelry, it’s important to use a soft brush that won’t scratch the metal. A toothbrush may seem like a convenient option, but the bristles can be too harsh for delicate metals like silver and gold. Instead, use a brush that comes with your jewelry cleaner or invest in a soft, horsehair jewelry brush for intricate pieces. This will ensure that you can clean your jewelry thoroughly without causing any damage.

Don’t Use Toothpaste

Another DIY solution that should be avoided when cleaning your jewelry is using toothpaste. Although toothpaste might appear to be a gentle and effective solution, it can, in fact, be excessively abrasive for delicate metals such as silver and gold. Toothpaste can cause scratches and damage to the metal, and can even harm gemstones that are set into the jewelry. Instead, stick with a Silver Foam for Jewelry that is specifically designed for your jewelry.

Do Store Your Jewelry Properly

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the beauty and longevity of your jewelry. When storing your silver and gold pieces, make sure to keep them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. This will prevent them from becoming tarnished or discolored over time. To protect your jewelry from scratches and other damage, it’s best to store each piece separately. You can use soft, cotton bags treated with a tarnish preventative, or specialty-treated paper that absorbs sulfur in the air. This will help keep your jewelry looking its best for years to come.

Don’t Store Your Jewelry in Ziplock Bags

While it may be tempting to store your jewelry in a zip lock bag for convenience, this is not the best solution. Ziplock bags are made of plastic that contains sulfur, which can cause tarnish on your jewelry. In addition, moisture can get trapped in the bag, which can also lead to tarnishing and other damage.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that your jewelry is an investment, both in terms of money and sentimentality. By following the do’s and don’ts of cleaning and storing your pieces, you can help protect that investment and ensure that your jewelry remains beautiful and meaningful for years to come. Take the time to care for your jewelry properly by using a high-quality silver or gold jewelry cleaner, avoiding harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaning methods. So go ahead and take care of your jewelry like the valuable asset it is. Your future self (and your wallet) will thank you for it!