Silver tarnishing occurs when the natural gases in the Earth’s atmosphere (Hydrogen Sulphide) react with the surface of the silver. Hydrogen Sulphide can be found in material such as wool, paints, latex, hairspray and certain foods such as onions, eggs and oil.
The speed at which your silver would tarnish really depends on how it was stored and the climate, for example high humidity would make the silver tarnish a lot faster.
How to store Silver
There are simple measures that you can take when storing silver to help prevent it from tarnishing.
- Store silver in an area free from dust, dirt or grime.
- Add some Silica gel packets to the container where you store the silver. jewellery to keep the humidity levels low, these can be purchased from many places and are well worth having if you own a lot of Silver jewellery.
- Pre-treat each piece of jewellery with tarnish retardant polish if you know that you will b storing the jewellery for a long time.
- Whilst I recommend all the above, I’ve always stored my silver jewellery in grip seal bags inside an airtight plastic container and I’ve never had a problem with it tarnishing.
Cleaning tarnished silver
Cleaning tarnished silver is simple, all you need is water, salt, aluminium foil and baking soda.
Step 1: Cover a dish with a piece of aluminium foil.
Step 3: Pour some hot water into the dish and stir to dissolve the powders.
Step 4: Place your tarnished silver into the solution. If the silver is a little tarnished a few minutes should do the trick, but if the silver is badly tarnished leave it in the solution for about an hour.
Step 5: When removed from the solution wipe the silver with a dry clean cloth.
Author: Crystal and Glass Beads