Silver earrings are versatile, elegant and fashionable. You can wear a pair of beautiful sterling silver earrings to any occasion and match them with any outfit. However, even though silver is a great metal for jewelry, it has its ups and downs. One of the downs is that silver tarnishes. And while most people simply stop wearing their tarnished jewelry, some of them know better. They know how to remove tarnish from silver and restore their jewelry pieces to their original beauty. If you too want to learn how to do this, read further. In this article, you will discover how to clean your silver earrings and remove that nasty tarnish from them.

Why does silver tarnish?

Just like gold, silver is a soft precious metal. It looks and feels great but, unfortunately, it is too soft to make pure silver jewelry out of it. Because of that, jewelry makers mix silver with other metals creating the sterling silver alloy. This allows them to craft beautiful and resistant jewelry. The downside is that a silver alloy is also less resistant to tarnish, unlike pure silver.

Usually, a pair of silver earrings contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, among which you can find copper. The copper in your jewelry reacts to the moisture and sulfur in the air and creates the tarnish layer on your silver earrings. Fortunately for you, this process is reversible.

How to remove tarnish from simple silver earrings?

If your beautiful pair of silver studs has tarnished, don’t despair. First of all, you have to clean the piece of jewelry. Get a lint-free cloth and soak it in warm soapy water. Gently rub your earrings to remove dirt and skin oils. After you dry them up, use a silver polishing cloth to remove the tarnish and let your silver earrings look shiny and new again. You can achieve this with a polishing cloth if the tarnish on your earrings is mild or moderate.

If your earrings have a high level of tarnish, you need warm water, an aluminum foil, and baking soda. Place the foil on the bottom of a small bowl, then put your earrings on it. Pour the warm water over the earrings and add two tablespoons of baking soda. Make sure you dissolve the baking soda, then let your jewelry soak for about twenty minutes. Rinse your silver earrings and dry them using a lint-free cloth. Just like magic, all the tarnish will be gone.

How to remove tarnish from gemstone silver earrings?

Things get more complicated if you own a pair of gemstone silver earrings because you can’t use the second method of tarnish removal. Some gemstones are fragile and the water may ruin them. If your silver earrings are mildly or moderately tarnished, you can still sue the polishing cloth, but make sure to avoid the gemstones. But if you can see a heavy layer of tarnish on your earrings, the best way to get rid of it is to take them to the jewelry shop. They will need professional cleaning.

Can you prevent tarnish?

We get a lot of questions from people wanting to know whether they can prevent tarnish. The truth is that tarnishing is a natural process and all you can do is slow it down. Eventually, your silver jewelry will turn black and you will need to remove the tarnish.

However, there are methods to slow down this process and make sure that you don’t have to use the silver polishing cloth too often.

  1. Use an anti-tarnish bag

You can store your silver earrings in an anti-tarnish bag. This will not protect them while you are wearing them but will reduce their exposure to air when you are not. To make sure your silver jewelry is perfectly protected, put a piece of chalk in the bag as well. The chalk will absorb any moisture and keep your jewelry dry.

  1. Clean your silver earrings after you wear them

When you take off your silver jewelry, don’t forget to clean it. The oils from your skin accelerate the tarnishing process so the best way to slow it down it to remove those oils.

  1. Beware of chemical substances

Don’t put perfume or body lotion when you are wearing your silver jewelry. Don’t take a bath with your earrings on and avoid contact between any chemical substance and your silver jewelry.

  1. Don’t be afraid to wear your jewelry

Even if your silver earrings are exposed to air while you are wearing them, the tarnishing process will go slowly. Movement and friction slow it down. As a result, one of the best ways to prevent tarnish is you wear your silver earrings as much as possible.

Tarnishing is a natural process and it is reversible. Take care of your silver jewelry to make sure it looks as beautiful as it did when you bought it. At Ana Luisa, you can find unique designer jewelry in limited-edition stunning collections.

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Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.