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Sterling silver will tarnish naturally over time but can be cleaned very easily. If you live in a humid environment, your silver will tarnish more quickly. The sulfides in humid air cause tarnish.

An occasional wipe with a jewelry polishing cloth should keep your silver tarnish free. Be sure to clean the silver only and avoid contact with any stones, particularly pearls and soft stones such as opals and emeralds, as a treated jewelry polishing cloth may cause damage to these stones.

You can remove light tarnish by using a soft, dry 100% cotton cloth or microfiber cloth and buff gently. There are also treated cloths, such as a Sunshine Cloth, that make polishing easier. Sterling silver jewelry can also be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. Sterling silver should be kept absolutely dry and stored in an airtight container. It is not recommended to use a liquid silver dip for silver jewelry as the chemicals are very harsh.

If your silver is very tarnished, black or almost black, use a polishing cloth with a light solution or paste formulated for jewelry that can be rinsed off with water. You may have to polish and rinse several times to get it clean.

An alternative, natural cleaning solution is baking soda. Line a glass dish with aluminum foil, put in silver piece, completely cover with a thin layer baking soda, pour in super-hot tap water, gently jiggle the piece with a wooden utensil to ensure baking soda goes into all crevices, soak for 5 - 10 minutes, rinse and dry thoroughly. Ta-Da... shiny silver.

*Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolor your silver jewelry. Avoid wearing silver jewelry while using chlorine bleach or while in a pool or hot tub.


Any piece of jewelry with a gemstone should be treated with special care. Avoid wearing your precious gemstone while gardening, swimming, playing high-impact sports, or using harsh cleaning products. Definitely wear it at all other times, especially when a spark of glamour is called for. Your gemstone jewelry can be cleaned with warm water and a gentle soap. Use a soft-bristled brush (like an old toothbrush) to clean hard-to-reach crevices around the setting. A diluted detergent, like your dish soap, will work well to break up dirt and accumulated oils. To dry your gemstone jewelry, use a lint-free polishing cloth.

If you intend to store your jewelry for a while, it is a good idea to keep it in its own safe place away from other jewelry and direct sunlight. This will keep your gemstone, as well as your other jewelry, pristine and scratch-free.

Pearls will scratch, so keep them stored separately from other jewelry.