Silver jewelry, especially the chunky variety, is very popular in India. All you need is a pair of large danglers or pretty jhumkas to jazz up an outfit. Wearing a dozen or two silver bangles on your arms just adds to that ethnic wow factor. However, silver jewelry can be notoriously difficult to maintain. Unless you like the oxidized look, keeping silver silvery takes some effort! So how do you keep your silver baubles clean and shining?
Store it correctly: Don’t just chuck your jewelry into a box where it forms a higgledy-piggledy mess. Today there are so many storage options. You have bangle stands, ring boxes, earring boxes and more. Chains can be neatly preserved in individual boxes. You could also store them in air-packed, clear plastic bags. Keeping some activated charcoal or silica in the shelf where you store your jewelry could be very helpful.
Wipe it after wearing: You don’t want all that dust, grime and sweat settling onto your sparkling silver. Wipe it with a clean cotton cloth after you’ve worn it and then IMMEDIATELY store it in its assigned place. You leave it out exposed to the elements and it will turn black.
Your jewelry could get damaged if you wear it while cooking, cleaning or gardening. You could spill something on it, dent it or even break it. Some chemicals like chlorine and bleach could react adversely with silver and cause it to get discolored.
No perfumes or cosmetics please:
Always wear your silver jewelry after you’ve applied your lotions, makeup and perfumes. The chemicals in these could cause the silver to stain. If it does happen to stain, clean it instantly with warm soap water or rub it with a soft cloth.
The best way to keep your silver jewelry clean is by polishing it with a soft cloth. There are many polishes that have been specifically devised to clean silver. Use one of them.
If buying special polish doesn’t appeal to you, there are many simple ways to clean your jewelry at home with ingredients that are easily available in your kitchen or bathroom.
- Take half a cup of vinegar. Add two tablespoons of baking soda. Soak the silver jewelry in this solution for a couple of hours and then take it out and rinse it under a tap. Voila! Your silver will look shiny and new.
- You could also try a home-made solution of salt with aluminum foil. Add a few pieces of the foil and a teaspoon of salt to a bowl of warm water. Soak the jewelry in this solution for about five minutes. When you take it out, it will glimmer and glow!
- One of the easiest and most common home do-it-yourself ways to clean silver is using good old toothpaste. Squeeze out some toothpaste – depending on the size of the piece of jewelry – and smear it onto the jewelry. Take a soft cotton cloth and gently rub till the silver shines.