How To Clean Your Sterling Silver Jewellery


Sterling silver offers a timeless, versatile and stylish option when it comes to jewellery. With our complete guide to caring for your sterling silver, you can keep it in tip-top condition so you can treasure it forever.

Sterling silver is a precious metal with a high shine which makes it a great and affordable choice for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and pendants.

Unfortunately, all sterling silver can tarnish over time losing its lustre. No one wants to see a precious piece of jewellery looking dull, so keep your sterling silver looking it’s very best by following our quick and easy tips:

What is the difference between .925 and .950 sterling silver?

If your sterling silver jewellery has a rating of .950, it will need to be polished often, but if the piece has a rating of .925, the metal is stronger and won’t need to be cleaned as much. At Inscripture quality and care are important to us, so all our Sterling Silver Jewellery is .925 and will be easy to maintain.

What makes sterling silver tarnish?

Over time simply exposing your sterling silver jewellery to the air can make it tarnish. The tarnishing occurs when oxygen or sulphur make contact with the silver.

Things you can do to avoid your silver from tarnishing:
  • Water and silver: silver does not like water, so avoid wearing your jewellery when cleaning, washing up, showering bathing or swimming. If you do accidentally get your silver wet, make sure you dry it completely afterwards.
  • Chemicals and silver: hand creams, lotions, perfumes, makeup and even hairspray can cause your jewellery to tarnish. Make sure your jewellery is the last thing you put on when you are getting ready and the first thing you take off at night. For more tips on looking after your jewellery check out our Jewellery Care Guide.
  • Storing your silver jewellery: sterling silver tarnishes quicker when it is exposed to humidity and air pollution. It’s best to store each piece of silver jewellery in a separate air-tight bag when you’re not wearing it. Always make sure the jewellery is completely dry before storing it. Remember your jewellery doesn’t enjoy humidity, so never store it in your bathroom.
  • Wear your jewellery: silver is more likely to tarnish if it isn’t worn, so that’s a great excuse to wear your favourite pieces every day!

How do I clean my sterling silver jewellery?

Always take your jewellery off before cleaning it and remove pendants and charms to clean them separately.

We recommend polishing sterling silver jewellery with a special silver cloth to keep it shining and to prevent the tarnish from returning.  Use the cloth to gently polish your jewellery with long strokes and avoid polishing in a circular motion as this can make the tarnish worst. Be careful not to pull on the chain links while you are cleaning necklaces and bracelets as this will weaken them.

You can clean hard to reach places with a cotton bud and a dot of silver polish.

Avoid rubbing silver-plated jewellery as this will damage the finish.

Homemade ways to clean your Sterling Silver jewellery

You could try this homemade method to clean your heavily tarnished silver, but be warned silver experts don’t recommend using it too often (if at all).

Baking Soda: To remove built-up tarnish from your silver you can mix a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 2 tablespoons water to make a paste. Gently apply the paste to the jewellery with a damp, lint-free cloth. Rinse well in clean water and buff dry very carefully. Do not store the jewellery until it is completely dry.

When taken care of properly, sterling silver jewellery can last you a lifetime. This is especially important when it is a sentimental piece like something from our Handwriting Jewellery or Memorial Jewellery collections.

Don’t forget to check out our range of quality Sterling Silver Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Charms and Rings.