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5 Ways to Keep Your Jewelry from Tarnishing

5 Ways to Keep Your Jewelry from Tarnishing

Jewelry is surely a great way to amp up one’s style and accentuate one’s physical features. However, while jewelry pieces’ sparkle can light up one’s look, they can lose their luster over time, especially if not well taken care of. 


When your favorite or go-to jewelry starts to tarnish, it can be frustrating since it may mean bidding goodbye to them. Sadly, tarnishing is a natural process that we cannot totally prevent.


But don’t fret–if you’re wondering how you can keep your sparkly pieces tarnish-free, you’re in the right place! There are a few easy ways to prevent this from happening. But before we list them down, let us get into a little more about why and how tarnishing happens. Let us read on!

Why and how jewelry tarnish happens

Jewelry tarnish occurs when the metal surface comes into contact with our bodies’ oils, makeup, sweat, perfumes, sulfur, lotions, and other external substances. This tarnish, which happens in many metals, can range from looking slightly dull to totally black. Now, which metals tarnish?

  • Brass. All brass naturally becomes dull over time due to the copper within the metal. Once the copper comes in contact with your skin, it oxidizes.
  • Sterling silver. This mostly happens as prompted by common and natural chemicals such as sulfur, moisture, chlorine, and your body’s acidity level.
    • Gold plating/filled/vermeil. This highly depends on the base metal. Typically, when the jewelry’s plating wears away, the base metal (which is usually brass, pewter, or nickel) becomes exposed, causing the jewelry to tarnish.

    Ways to save your jewelry’s sparkle

    1. Store jewelry properly

    How you store your jewelry immensely determines its life span. Some ways to store your jewelry pieces properly include the following:

    • Keep them in a dry place and avoid storing them in humid areas or spaces. 
    • Use stackable jewelry organizers, cotton jewelry bags, or boxes with compartments to keep your pieces organized and prevent them from scratching one another.
    • Designate a special area for your go-to pieces and those you’d like to keep so that they are easy to see and grab.


    1. Separate individual pieces of jewelry

    Make sure to separate your jewelry pieces by metal and type. Allot a separate space for your fashion accessories and another for semi-fine to fine jewelry to avoid tarnish. You can also consider adding storage box dividers or placing your jewelry pieces in small bags to prevent scratches.


    1. Clean it regularly

    Aside from properly storing them, another way to proactively prevent your jewelry from tarnishing is to make it a habit to clean your jewelry pieces regularly. Good thing, there are many ways to clean and restore them.


    You can remove existing jewelry tarnish by filling a dish with warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Afterward, dip a soft toothbrush into your mixture and start gently scrubbing your jewelry. Make sure not to submerge your jewelry and leave it in water for a long time as it may loosen the glue that holds your jewelry stones in place. 


    Clean your jewelry using a soft or microfiber cloth. By doing this regularly, you can remove any build-up of gunk and grime that contributes to tarnishing. Consider also using common cleaning solution options like alcohol and    hand sanitizer—just make sure you know how to use them cautiously!


    1. Do not soak your jewelry in water or chemicals

    Before swimming, taking a shower, working out, or doing other strenuous activities, make sure to take off your jewelry as salt water and chlorine may damage it. When it comes to sterling silver, sweat can also make it tarnish.


    Before applying skincare products like sunscreen and lotion, going into a hot tub, or doing other activities, make sure you have already taken off your jewelry pieces.


    1. Avoid jewelry exposure to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures

    Make sure not to expose your jewelry to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures as these can cause dullness and discoloration. Ultraviolet light can also lead to faster deterioration, so keeping your jewelry stored in a dry and dark space should be included in your top priorities when it comes to jewelry care.


    Can you restore tarnished jewelry? 

    If you’re wondering if it is possible to restore tarnished jewelry, the answer is: yes! Many tarnished jewelry pieces can be restored easily using basic cleaning methods. However, note that while you can clean and restore gold-plated jewelry or plated jewelry at home, tarnish still happens because of the plating scratch that exposes the base metal. In such a case, your jewelry must be re-plated by a professional to prevent it from reacting with outside chemicals. 

    Level up your journey with your jewelry by considering the above-mentioned tips on how to properly take care of your prized pieces.