Cleaning Silver

Hi there, this is a quick care post for cleaning the beautiful jewellery you buy from us!

Most of our UK based makers (I say most as we do have some that use recycled, ethical silver for their work) only use sterling silver, one of the most beautiful and lustrous of all metals and my personal favourite. With proper care, your silver will retain its beauty and character for many generations to come. But it can tarnish for many reasons so here is a quick guide for you:

Tanya Krackowizer silver bangle selection

Tanya Krackowizer silver bangle selection

What you need to know:

Sterling silver tarnishes, especially when exposed to salt air and some products containing sulphur, such as rubber bands, and some papers and products containing chemicals such as sun-creams, perfumes and body lotions. However, silver that is regularly used typically needs less care, so Heart Gallery strongly encourages you to wear your silver every day……why wouldn’t you? I don’t need an excuse do you? When you are not adorned with your silver simply keep it in the box we packaged your piece in. If you do use a jewellery box then please make sure you keep each piece in a separate place, perhaps wrapped in a fabric pouch or roll.

Elaine Jenkins - Silver and 18ct gold rings

Elaine Jenkins – Silver and 18ct gold rings

Washing silver:

Heart Gallery recommends washing silver by hand in warm water with a mild detergent. Because many gases in the air and products that we use on our skin can have a corrosive effect, we suggest that you wash your silver immediately after use. Silver should not be left to soak in water. To avoid spotting, it is important to dry your silver immediately after washing and at Heart Gallery we place on absorbent kitchen roll on top of the radiator to ensure that it is thoroughly dry before placing back in the cabinet.

Emily Morgan - Heart Charm Bracelet

Emily Morgan – Heart Charm Bracelet

Our old-fashioned tip :

Regularly using this method will stop you having to use a more abrasive approach with dips and chemicals. Take a deep bowl and line with aluminium foil. Boil a kettle and add to the bowl with a couple of teaspoons of table salt and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Wait for it to dissolve and then drop your silver jewellery in to soak for a while. This is especially good when your jewellery includes pearls or gemstones as it is not harmful to them. Remove after about 20 minutes and rinse under warm soapy water then dry thoroughly as mentioned earlier.

Amanda Cox Silver and Freshwater Pearl Necklace

Amanda Cox Silver and Freshwater Pearl Necklace

Gentle rubbing:

We sell a good quality silver cloth for only £3 which is impregnated with a compound to stop the silver oxidising. This can be used to gently rub over your silver once a week to remove any tarnish by using gentle back and forth movements so you don’t damage your piece of jewellery. These cloths can be used even if your jewellery contains stones or pearls as they are not harmful or abrasive.

Emily Thatcher Companion Rings

Emily Thatcher Companion Rings Silver Onyx and Black Diamonds

Dips & Chemicals

These are quite harsh and should be avoided really where possible. By following our simple guide above you should not need to go down this route but if you do we recommend Silvex. This cleaner is not as abrasive as silver dip and others available and it’s not harmful to silver jewellery that also incorporates fresh water pearls or gemstones. You don’t need much and you can just apply with a soft cloth, small sponge or small soft bristled brush. Rub your piece gently but firmly using even strokes then rinse in warm soapy water, dry thoroughly and then buff gently with a soft cloth/silver cloth.

Alice Stewart Silver Doves Necklace

Alice Stewart Silver Doves Necklace

And there you have it, a simple guide to looking after your beautiful silver jewellery to ensure your pieces will become heirlooms of the future.

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