Has your jewelry every tarnished? If so, you likely own an heirloom or something sentimental. Over time and prolonged wear, sterling silver jewelry tends to tarnish. It's completely natural and reflects the quality of the metal you're wearing!
If you aren't familiar with polishing your sterling silver jewelry, you may have stashed that sterling silver pieces in the bottom of your jewelry box because it's lost it's luster. Well, get ready to wear that beauty more often!
Everything you need to know for polishing your jewelry
First things first!
Handmade jewelry is more delicate than mass-manufactured jewelry, but with proper care it should last a lifetime. Just like your mother always said, if you do not take good care of something, it will show signs of wear and tear!
The fundamentals of good jewelry care are: make sure it is the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. Always store it out of the open air (even though branch jewelry holders are adorable) and keep it away from chemicals such as sunscreen, hairspray, perfume, etc. Another good rule of thumb is to wash your jewelry with soap and water (and rinse and dry well) after a wild night of partying or just a hot day at the park. It is also not recommended to exercise in your handmade jewelry, as it can cause unnecessary stress on the piece, and the salt from sweating does not react well with the metals. Sorry Southern gals but if you're going to spend a lot of time outside in the humid days of summer, it's probably better to leave your Freshie & Zero necklace at home, but you can wear your Freshie & Zero earrings on a hot summer day instead
What about that tarnishing?
The best way to prevent it is to store your jewelry in an airtight container such as a jewelry box or ziplock baggie, and keep it away from sweat and humidity. However, sterling is super easy to clean! Silver polishing cloths will do the trick but they can take a lot of time & elbow grease so I prefer an actual liquid cleaner. You can pick up silver jewelry cleaner at any CVS/Walgreens/Bed Bath & Beyond type store and simply dip, rinse well, and dry! Just make sure you don't dip any of the stones or pearls in the cleaner - it will dissolve their luster. Even easier than that is cleaning them with toothpaste and a toothbrush (that you no longer use, of course!). Clean, rinse, and dry!