When we think about tarnish, we think about old and outdated things. However, it’s not just old things that tend to tarnish, new things made from metal can also appear rusty when left in a humid environment. If you don’t protect your silver objects from humidity or other elements, they will eventually start to oxidize and turn yellow. This process is known as tarnishing, and if you take measures to avoid this, your silver will remain shiny for a much longer time. Keep reading to learn how to keep silver from tarnishing!
How To Keep Silver From Tarnishing
Keep it in a bag or box
If you want to keep silver from tarnishing, the first thing you should do is keep your silver pieces in a bag or box. You can purchase special bags and boxes with anti-tarnish properties, or you can simply use a zip-lock bag. As long as you make sure that the silver objects are completely covered, they will be protected from light and other factors that cause them to oxidize.
Put it in an airtight container
If you have a lot of silver objects, it might not be possible to put them all in a zip-lock bag or box. However, if you put each one of your pieces in an airtight container they will retain their shine much longer than if they were just put into a regular zip-lock bag.
Clean your silver regularly
Even if your piece has been kept inside of an air-tight container, there will still be some moisture that seeps into the metal over time – this is why it’s important to clean your silver regularly! Use mild soap and warm water to remove any dirt or dust from the surface of the metal, but don’t use anything too abrasive (such as steel wool) as this could scratch the surface and ruin its shine. After cleaning each piece separately with soap and water, dry it off with a clean towel so no moisture remains on the surface of the metal – store each piece separately after drying them off so they don’t get scratched while they’re in the box or bag.
Don’t polish silver too much
Although you should clean your pieces regularly, you shouldn’t use any polishing products on the surface of your silver objects. The reason for this is that most polishing products contain ingredients that are too abrasive, and if you use them on a regular basis they will scratch the surface of the metal. If you want to shine your pieces up a bit, just use a soft cloth and some mild soap.
Keep it away from chemicals
Chemicals (such as bleach) can tarnish silver quickly so make sure to keep it away from these substances! Also, try not to put your silver in places where there is a lot of smoke or moisture – this will also cause it to turn yellow more quickly!
Don’t wear it when you exercise
Exercise is great for your health, but sweating is not so great for your silver. If you wear your jewelry when you work out, it might end up with a black tarnish on the surface – this can be removed, but it will take some time and effort to do so.
What You Need To Know About Tarnish
It’s not the same as rust
So often we confuse the two, but they are actually very different. Tarnish is an oxidization process that occurs when silver reacts with oxygen and other elements in the air. Rust, on the other hand, is caused by the oxidation and corrosion of iron.
It affects silver differently than gold
Silver tarnishes much faster than gold because it contains a higher percentage of sulfur (about 4%). Gold, on the other hand, contains only 0.0001% sulfur and is therefore much less likely to tarnish. However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid storing your silver pieces in safe deposit boxes or keep them in dark drawers! The best way to protect your silver from tarnishing is to prevent contact with oxygen and moisture. If your silver piece does get tarnished due to improper storage conditions, don’t worry – there are ways to remove tarnish from silver!
It’s really easy to prevent
There are many ways of preventing tarnish, and you don’t need to use any fancy equipment or chemicals to do so. In fact, the most effective way is to store your silver in an airtight container. If you don’t have a fancy airtight container, you can use plastic bags (make sure there is an extra layer of plastic between each piece of silver). If you want to display your silver but still want to keep it shiny and protected, you can use cloths or small boxes that fit the pieces perfectly – this will prevent exposure to oxygen and humidity.
It can be removed if necessary
Depending on the type of tarnish on your silver piece, there are different methods for removing it. In some cases, all that may be needed is some polishing with a soft cloth or toothbrush (if the tarnish is light) and a gentle cleaning solution for jewelry (if the tarnish is heavy). For more severe cases of tarnish, you may need to use bleach or ammonia and then polish with soap and water. Check out our post on how to remove tarnish from silver for more information!
It’s not just for silver
Tarnish is a common problem with silver and gold, but it can also affect other metals as well, such as copper, bronze, brass, and nickel. So if you have jewelry made from one of these metals and are worried about tarnishing, don’t fret – you can still prevent it! Just make sure to store your jewelry in an airtight container or cloth/box.
It can be used on purpose
In some cases, tarnish is actually desirable because it adds character to the piece. For example, many people intentionally tarnish their copper jewelry because they find that the patina gives the piece a more antique look. If you want your silver or gold jewelry to have a natural-looking patina that enhances its appearance and value, simply store it in an airtight container for a few days before wearing it!
How To Protect Silver From Tarnishing
Keep your silver objects in a dry environment
The first thing you can do is to keep your silver objects in a dry environment. However, this may not be possible if you have your silver pieces on display in your home. If they are kept on display, you should make sure that they are placed in an area where the humidity is low. If not, chances are high that they will eventually start to tarnish.
If you want to store them away when they aren’t being used, there are several ways to keep them safe from tarnishing. You can wrap them up in tissue paper and put them into a box or pouch made of tissue paper as well. The tissue paper will absorb any moisture that the silver might come into contact with and protect it from tarnishing.
Don’t expose the silver to light
When we think about tarnish, we often think about light being one of the main causes of this process to happen. This is why it’s important for you not to leave your silver pieces exposed to light for long periods of time (if at all). If you have some pieces on display at home, try putting some plastic sheets over them before placing a tablecloth over it so that the light can’t damage their shine over time (even if only slightly). Also, try keeping your jewelry boxes closed as much as possible so that dust doesn’t get onto your items either and cause them to tarnish.
Don’t expose the silver to chlorine and ammonia
Both chlorine and ammonia can be damaging to your silver pieces, so if you have any of these substances at home, you should try not to let them come into contact with your silver. If you have a swimming pool at home, for example, make sure that you don’t leave your silver jewelry lying around near it. Chlorine can cause discoloration on the surface of your silver, while ammonia can tarnish it much faster than usual.
Keep away from perfumes
If you want to keep your silver items shiny for as long as possible, you should try not to wear any perfumes around them (even if only occasionally). Perfumes contain a lot of chemicals that are harmful to both the jewelry and its shine. So if there is a particular perfume that you really love wearing but notice that it damages your jewelry after some time, then try switching brands or just refrain from wearing perfumes altogether when you are in possession of any precious pieces made out of this precious metal.
Silver is a valuable and beautiful metal, but only if it’s clean and shiny. If you want to extend the lifespan of your silver items, you have to protect them from tarnishing. Luckily, there are many ways to do this. You just have to keep your silver clean, store it in the right environment, and use a tarnish protector. With these tips, you can make sure your silver stays clean!