Silver is one of the most desirable metals today. They are highly marketable and they are nice additions to any one's collections. However, the number one problem faced by silver owners and collectors is silver tarnishing. Why does sterling silver tarnish? How can it be prevented?
In chemistry, silver is not that reactive as compared to other metals. In an average environment, it doesn't react with basic elements like oxygen and water. Then again, if silver is mixed with other metals and alloys, the purity of the silver can decrease and tarnishing or rusting may develop. Copper can chemically react with oxygen in the air, as with Sodium chloride which is commonly called table salts. Sodium chloride can corrode and the salt corrosion can characteristically appear on top of silver salt containers or shakers. Likewise, tarnish is what happens when silver becomes silver sulfide. What happen is that the usual silvery color turns dark black. It is common in silvers spoon or metals. When the sulfides in silver spoons react with the air found in the environment, the silver turns black.
The good news is that silver tarnishing is preventable. If you want your silver to twinkle and shine like new again here are a few tips.
Use Aluminum Foil
For your shoddily tarnished jewelry or teapots, here's a simple way to clean and remove stubborn tarnish. First is to cover the inside bottom of a glass heat proof dish. Then, get a piece of aluminum foil in your kitchen and place one shiny sheet inside. The shiny sheet must be placed inside up. Put the discolored and tarnished silver pieces at the bottom of the dish and add one big tablespoon of baking soda. Little by little pour boiling water over it until it covers the whole piece. The tarnish will slowly but surely accumulate on the aluminum foil. The expected result is a clean and very pleasant to the eyes silver. To maintain the shiny appearance of silver, once you remove your silver, rinse it thoroughly. Apply polish generously.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is very useful in maintaining the beauty of silver jewelries and other silver items. Just mix a paste of baking soda and water. Gently rub the silver with the mixture. Rinse and dry with a clean piece of cloth. If you have silver flatware at home, simply sprinkle the baking soda on a moist cloth and rub it on the flatware gently.
Chalk can naturally absorb the moisture that causes silver to tarnish. To avoid tarnishing and rusting of silver, add a couple of chalks to the place where you store up your silver.
Cover your sterling silver with toothpaste to get rid of hard to stubborn stains and tarnish. Subsequently, run it under warm water. Lather it up then rinse it off completely. For hard to reach areas use soft bristle toothbrush.
Store It Properly
If you are not wearing your sterling silver, make sure that you store your pieces properly. Before storing your silvery pieces, cover them in a jewelry polishing cloth. Find a plastic zip-lock bag or a simple sandwich bag and place the cloth inside. Zip-lock bags are recommended because it can prevent moisture from getting inside.
Tarnishing and rusting of silvers can be very nerve wrecking. Fortunately there are ways to prevent and to get rid of them completely. If you wish to maintain the beauty of your silver pieces consider the tips above. You may also invest in good quality silver polish to keep your silver pieces shiny and glittery than ever before.
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