Best Ways to Take Care of Sterling Silver Jewelry

From daily wearing tips to cleaning instructions, you’ll find it all right here!


Sterling silver is an alloyed metal, normally made of 92.5% pure silver and other metals. Sterling silver is a popular metal because of its affordability and malleability, but it also tarnishes quickly because of its composition.

If you’re looking at a piece of jewelry that is darkened or appears dirty, then your silver has tarnished; but, there’s no need to neglect this piece or get rid of it!

Tarnish is simply the result of a chemical reaction with oxygen or sulfur particles in the air. With a few easy-to-follow tips, you can take care of your sterling silver jewelry and make it last for years to come!


Wear it often: Believe it or not, your skin’s natural oils will help keep silver jewelry shiny. One of the easiest ways to prevent tarnish is to simply wear your silver often as opposed to letting it sit in a jewelry box unworn.

Remove during household chores: Substances with additional sulfur like household cleaners, chlorinated water, perspiration, and rubber will accelerate corrosion and tarnish. It’s a good idea to remove sterling silver completely before cleaning.

Keep out of direct sunlight: Before you hit the beach or pool, be sure to remove your silver jewelry. Sunlight can cause silver to tarnish as well.

Put your jewelry on last: For generations, women have been putting their jewelry on last and that’s for good reason! Lotions, makeups, hair spray and perfumes will accelerate tarnishing.

How to Clean Silver Jewelry at Home: Tips and Techniques

There are countless at-home methods for cleaning your silver jewelry. You’ve probably found yourself faced with endless options, wondering which are the best. Well, here’s the silver cleaning methods that our jewelers suggest for your at-home cleanings:

Baking soda and Aluminum Foil:

In this method, silver is dipped into a solution of warm water and baking soda in an aluminum foil, wait for a few minutes then dried. The aluminum foil absorbs stains and gets stained during the process.


Avoid cleaning silver with other sensitive components, such as gemstones, and don’t use hot water as it may accelerate the chemical reaction with the silver surface.

Tooth Paste

You can take some toothpaste and gently rub the silver with a soft cloth.


Be gentle when rubbing silver, and be careful to avoid scratches. Also, avoid toothpaste that can scratch or wear away the silver.

Vinegar and Baking Soda:

First, pour vinegar into the container. Then, add baking soda carefully spoon by spoon. After that, put your silver jewelry into the mixture and let it soak for two-three hours. When the time has passed, rinse the items under warm water and dry them with a cloth.


Avoid leaving jewelry in the solution for prolonged periods, as this could potentially damage the silver.

Lemon Juice and Salt:

Place your silver jewelry in the mixture and leave to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. For heavily oxidized jewelry, you can leave for up to 20 minutes.

Brushing using a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush away tarnish and oxidation and rinse jewelry with clear water to remove any lemon residue.


Avoid leaving your silver jewelry in the lemon juice mixture for long periods

Finish with a polish: After you’ve given your jewelry a good cleaning, you can finish one of those process by using a polishing cloth that’s specifically for sterling silver.

You can repeat this process as often as needed. Remember, the key to keeping your sterling silver clean is to keep up with regular cleanings to remove tarnish as it builds. Your job becomes much more difficult if you let a piece accumulate a lot of tarnish and then try to remove it all at once.

There are many other methods that you’ll come across, but we highly suggest these four because of how gentle they are on your silver jewelry.

Updated on January 2024
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