Cleaning your jewellery is an important part of maintaining its appearance.

You may notice that silver jewellery in particular is prone to tarnishing which is caused when the metal oxidises naturally with air or the acids in human skin.

Most prevalent in rings and chains made with silver, you may also notice tarnishing or ‘black edge effect’ with 9ct gold pieces.

Black-edge effect

Although there is no exact explanation for why this happens, there are few things you can do to minimise the chances of your jewellery tarnishing.

This includes:

– Preventing your jewellery from coming into contact with cosmetics and perfume; the latter is particularly important for necklaces and bracelets which are more at risk due to where they sit on the body.

– Avoiding wearing your jewellery to the swimming pool where it risks contamination from chemicals such as chlorine.

– Hot weather can also encourage tarnishing; perhaps due to increased moisture on the skin and lotions such as sun screen.

– Wearing jewellery sporadically can also increase tarnishing as the metal does not have a chance to build up a residue of natural acids.

Tidal ring

Cleaning your Jewellery

Clean your jewellery in luke warm, soapy water then dry the jewellery using a soft cloth. Once dry it is best to rub the jewellery using a polishing cloth which will brighten the piece in a matter of minutes.

You may also notice that the polishing cloth becomes dirty however it is only ready to dispose of when it turns almost completely black. Cleaning your jewellery every two weeks is a good rule of thumb to help maintain its appearance.

Creel ring

How to clean very tarnished jewellery

Sometimes jewellery is beyond cleaning with soapy water and a polishing cloth. In instances such as these, jewellery can benefit from a silver dip.

Do not silver dip any piece of jewellery that has an oxidised (blackened) finish or any piece set with pearls.

For all other pieces it is only necessary to dip the jewellery a few times a year for five to seven seconds maximum.

Once the jewellery has been dipped, rinse the piece under cold running water in a plastic basin (silver dip is a mild acid that can damage work surfaces and metal sinks) and dry with a soft cloth or towel.

Jewellery polishing cloths and silver dip can be purchased from your local jeweller.

Should you have any questions about cleaning your jewellery or removing tarnish, please contact the Sheila Fleet Jewellery team.