A silver bracelet is an elegant piece of jewelry that can be worn with almost anything at any occasion. However, silver is exposed to elements everyday that cause it to tarnish or to oxidize. The catalysts for tarnish include many elements such as oxygen, sulfur, or even the salt residue from your hands. There is some proper care and cleaning that one must know to keep silver looking its best. Here are some helpful tips to keep your silver bracelet looking beautiful.
There are certain chemicals and products that can cause your silver bracelet to tarnish that should be avoided. Do not apply any sort of sun tan oil, hair spray, hair color, perfume, rubber, and body lotions while wearing your silver jewelry. These all contain chemicals that can potentially cause your jewelry to tarnish. Always remove any silver jewelry when working with chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, alcohol, finger nail polish removers with acetone, and turpentine. Also the acids in tape, cardboard, and newspaper can be harmful to your silver bracelet. Avoid contact with wool and felt (these materials contain sulfur that can cause the silver to oxidize) and do not shower with your silver bracelet on. Keep away from these things to also avoid potential tarnish of your sliver bracelet.
You should clean your silver bracelet regularly to remove tarnish. When cleaning, do not use any materials that are too abrasive and that will scratch the material. Never use a toothbrush, no matter how soft the bristles are suppose to be. Instead, clean your silver bracelet with a soft, cotton, lint-free cloth. Also, wear plastic gloves instead of rubber gloves since the rubber can possibly cause the silver to tarnish.
With your soft cloth and plastic gloves you are ready to begin cleaning your silver bracelet. To begin, remove any dust or debris that could possibly scratch the item. Next, rinse the bracelet with warm water and mild soap (avoid scented soaps) and pat dry. The bracelet is now ready to be polished. Many polishes are available in different forms (i.e. pastes, liquids, and foams). My recommendation would be to use a polish that gives a wax-like finish; this creates a barrier for future tarnish. No matter what you use, be sure to remove all the polish from your jewelry. To finish, rinse in warm water (do not soak) and pat dry.
General Care and Storage
When you are not wearing your silver bracelet, you should always store it in a place that is airtight to avoid oxidization. Do not store jewelry in cardboard boxes or tissue paper. The chemicals from these materials will cause more harm than good. The best way to store your silver bracelet is by placing it in an airtight cabinet or drawer along with anti-tarnishing strips. There are also special silver cloths that can be purchased to wrap your jewelry in for storage. It is best to keep them jewelry pieces separate in order to avoid possible scratching. Remember, one of the best ways to keep you silver bracelet looking good is to wear it! Your body oils act as a shield for many of the catalysts for tarnish.
If you keep good care of your silver bracelet in its cleaning, storage and general care of it, you will be able to wear it for years to come. Just remember to keep it away from harmful chemicals, keep up with cleaning it, and to store it properly. It is important to take care of your jewelry so that it may remain beautiful every time you wear it.