Jewellery tarnishes. It is an unavoidable but annoying fact! Have you noticed that your jewels get a bit grubby in the summer months? The exotic cocktail of suncream, heat, sweat and chlorine can all speed up the tarnishing process which isn’t great when you want to look your best on your holidays or you come home with a travel case full of silver that has turned black.
All is not lost though! There are a couple of easy fixes you can do to get everything looking beautiful again.
Try to avoid exposure to chemicals to begin with. Your jewellery should be the last thing on, first thing off. Take your rings off before you jump in the pool or put your necklace on after you’ve done your suncream and perfume.
A Cleaning Cloth
These are handy little soft cloths that have a bit of polish embedded in them. Give your jewellery a once over when you take it off. The cloth will get grubby but you can use them until they are pretty black!
A Homemade Cleaning Trick
Are you reading this when you’ve got back? Is the cloth not quite doing the trick? A great little trick is a homemade cleaning bath, with things you’ll probably have a home already. Get some hot water, a drop of washing up soap and a soft brush (an old toothbrush is perfect), place the jewellery into the water and leave for a few minutes, give it a good scrub and it should come up good as new. Do take care with certain stones and finishes though!
Need a bit more? Line a bowl with aluminium foil, add hot water and bicarb of soda. Pop your jewellery in and let the magic happen. You can then rinse the pieces and dry off.
Tempted by silver dip? It’s a bit of a divisive subject, some people swear by it, some say it’s awful stuff. It can be very aggressive though so I would follow some of the steps above.
Once you have your jewellery shining brightly again, try to store it out of sunlight. A little packet of silica gel can help slow down the tarnishing process or you could try keeping them in those little plastic Ziplock bags with the air squeezed out. It will get you eventually though, it is just a natural process where the oxygen in the air reacts with the metal.
Please note – take care with stones and certain finishes when it comes to cleaning your jewellery. Some stones do not like water and some finishes can be removed completely with cleaning. For example, the oxidised finish of the pieces below. Oxidation is just tarnish sped right up which looks great when it’s intentional!
Want more tips like this straight in your inbox? Sign up to my newsletter below for a bit of jewellery chat every couple of weeks