Revive Your Tired, Tarnished Silver

We all love that feeling of opening a box containing new jewellery. A piece of jewellery is often something we have saved up for, waited patiently for, or have been surprised with. Nothing quite beats that first glance of your sparkly new piece. 
You put it on straight away and it quickly becomes part of you, you forget you’re even wearing it. You know you should take it off to shower, swim, do the dishes and the gardening, but so many of us don’t. Laziness, fear of losing it or just plain forgetting means our jewellery goes through a lot! Before you know it your silver is looking a little dull and hasn’t quite got the same ‘wow-factor’ as when you first opened the box.

What causes silver to tarnish?

Tarnishing happens when chemicals, particularly sulphur, react with your silver. It causes a discoloured, darkened layer on the surface of your jewellery which takes away its shine.
A number of everyday products such as hairspray, perfume and body lotion can speed up the process, and your silver will even react with water, oxygen and perspiration to become tarnished.

How to get the sparkle back

Fear not! There are loads of great ways to revive your silver and get it looking as good as new, and some of these methods use items you already have laying around your home!
Here are my top three tried and tested ways of getting that sparkle back:
1.Distilled white vinegar for a light tarnish

If your silver is lightly tarnished, white vinegar is a great way of cleaning it. White vinegar is super cheap and readily available at all supermarkets and is usually something we have laying around at the back of a kitchen cupboard.
Pop your jewellery in a glass or enamel bowl and pour in enough vinegar to cover it. I leave mine for 15-20 minutes before giving it a rinse and a wipe with a soft cloth. 


2 . Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda for a heavier tarnish
    If white vinegar hasn’t done the job and you need something a bit stronger, mixing bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar will create a chemical reaction resulting in better cleaning.
    You need to mix around 1 part bicarbonate of soda to 4 parts vinegar. Put some kitchen foil into a glass or enamel bowl shiny side facing up. Pour the vinegar into the glass or enamel bowl and slowly add the bicarbonate of soda. This will cause the vinegar to fizz so make sure your bowl is big enough to allow for this! Pop your jewellery in and leave for an hour or two. Then, rinse and dry using a soft cloth. 


    3. Jewellery polishing cloth

      Alternatively you can buy a jewellery polishing cloth from a local jewellery shop or online. Polishing cloths are usually cheap to buy and made from 100% cotton. They sometimes have polish and an anti-tarnish agent added to them, leaving your jewellery with a high-shine after use.
      The cloths will turn black once you have used them which is the chemicals being activated. You shouldn’t wash these cloths as this will cause the polish and anti-tarnish agents to be removed. 

      Caring for your silver

      To keep your silver from tarnishing you can give it a quick wash in warm water with dish soap every few weeks (or if you’re anything like me, whenever you remember!). When you’re not wearing your jewellery, remember to keep it safe in a jewellery box, the box it came in or even a small fabric bag. This will slow down the tarnishing process and will also make you less likely to lose it and stop your jewellery from damaging and scratching each other, meaning your jewellery will last longer.
      It is important to remember to use soft cloths and non-abrasive cleaners when cleaning your silver so it doesn’t become damaged. It is best to avoid toothpaste as the particles in it can leave small scratches. To polish and dry your jewellery you can use a microfibre cloth or even an old cotton t-shirt. If in doubt, message me on Instagram or pop in to your local jewellers. 

      Looking for a new piece of jewellery?

      Our newest collection, the Ocean Ring Collection, is out now. We have paired a Larimar stone, a beautiful, rare stone from the Dominican Republic, with timeless sterling silver to create a bold and original design. You can choose the stone you are most drawn to and discuss the design with us to ensure you have a piece you will treasure for years to come. To see the stones we have available, click here.

      About Charlotte Mari

      Charlotte is a wife, mother and the founder of Charlotte Mari Design.
      Charlotte Mari jewellery is unique, contemporary and created with you in mind. 
      Charlotte's passion for working with precious metals stems from her time excitedly experimenting with metal stamps in her little student room at university. It was there that Charlotte Mari was born. Now, Charlotte is based at her home studio by the sea in South Wales where she is always developing new designs and techniques to further her collection whilst balancing family life.
      Charlotte is a firm believer that the best kind of jewellery is meaningful to the beholder. Given the handcrafted nature of Charlotte Mari products, she is proud that every piece is individually special and tells a different story. Each item is stamped by hand using traditional tools to create personalised, distinctive pieces for you to treasure.

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