How to Keep Jewelry From Tarnishing: An Informative Guide

Are you trying to figure out how to keep jewelry from tarnishing? If yes, you should check out our guide here on the vital things to do.

If you’re a collector of beautiful silver and plated jewelry, you know the struggle of keeping it bright and shiny.

There are a lot of at-home DIY tips for how to keep jewelry from tarnishing, but how many of them actually work? How many of them have you tried only for the tarnish to prevail?

If you want to keep your rings and necklaces photo-ready all the time but you’re unsure of how to protect them, you’re in the right place.

Keep reading to learn how to keep that pesky tarnishing at bay with this quick and informative guide.

Why Does Jewelry Tarnish?

Quickly, it’s important to know why the tarnishing happens in the first place if you want to logically consider how you can avoid this problem in the future. Many supposed “anti-tarnish hacks” don’t make a lot of sense if you actually know the science behind it!

Tarnish is a kind of corrosion that can occur on certain types of metal, though in jewelry it’s seen commonly on silver and brass. It happens when the metal is exposed to airborne chemicals, like sulfur.

While you might not notice these chemicals in your home or store, they’re there in enough abundance to slowly corrode your jewelry over time. Then, despite you having stored your jewelry in what you thought was a safe place, it’s tarnished the next time you go to wear it! It’s so annoying, right?

So, logically, we want to keep your jewelry from too much air exposure, right? How do you do that?

Tips on How to Keep Jewelry From Tarnishing

You don’t have to deal with the tarnishing problem! Cleaning and shining jewelry that’s been tarnished can be a tedious process, and it’s best to just avoid it altogether. Here are a few ways that you might be able to avoid the issue.

Keep Your Jewelry in Special Bags

While you might want to keep your jewelry in a nice jewelry box, that might not be the safest place for it.

Keeping your jewelry in a safer place will keep it from exposure.

Jewelry that’s at risk for tarnishing should be stored individually, meaning one piece per bag or bag segment. There are special jewelry bags available for this purpose that can keep your jewelry together but still separate and safe from the outside air.

Alternatively, you can store them the old-fashioned way. Ziplock bags work really well for this purpose. They just have to be in their own individual ziplock bag.

Coat Your Jewelry

As a child, you probably heard that you could just coat your rings in clear nail polish to stop them from tarnishing and turning your fingers green.

While this didn’t always work as planned (schoolyard beauty tips rarely do) there is some science behind this. That said, it can be done better.

You can coat your jewelry with specialized jewelry coatings to serve the same purpose, but more effectively. Nail polish might not do the trick every time, but a coating made for jewelry is more suited for keeping air out and keeping your jewelry safe.

Store Your Jewelry with Chalk

Does this sound too simple? Don’t be fooled, it can be effective.

While it’s still advisable to use special jewelry bags for your at-risk jewelry, putting chalk in your less-safe jewelry boxes is a great way to protect your jewelry from tarnishing.

Chalk helps absorb moisture and chemicals from the air around it, making it a great addition to any jewelry box or bag.

Don’t Store Jewelry With Wood

So that jewelry box we were talking about? If it’s a nice wood one that’s stained or treated, you might want to reconsider it altogether.

While that’s great for your jewelry with less tarnish potential, it’s not ideal for the jewelry that’s at risk.

Stained and treated wood is covered in chemicals. These chemicals can contribute to the tarnishing and discoloration of your jewelry.

You can avoid this risk by buying a wooden jewelry box with velvet on each compartment. This way, you combine the beauty of wood with the softness of velvet. Natural wood jewelry boxes are also a good option.

Use Polishing Wipes

You might be worried, at this point, about ever exposing your jewelry to the outside air. How are you ever going to wear it? It needs to leave the bag eventually.

You can obviously still wear your jewelry. If you want to keep it looking its best, give it a quick wipe down with a polishing cloth after every wear.

This will help undo some of the potential damage that the air and chemicals have done to it.

Use Silver Tarnish Cloth

This cloth goes by many names.

Sometimes it’s just silver cloth. Sometimes it’s anti-tarnish cloth. Sometimes it’s Pacific cloth.

Whatever it is, it’s a magic little material that uses zinc to help absorb sulfur from the area around it, making it a great addition to your jewelry collection.

If the idea of jewelry bags makes you sad and you’re attached to your jewelry boxes or cases, putting silver tarnish cloth in your jewelry box will help protect your jewelry from damage.

What if My Jewelry Tarnishes Anyway?

Jewelry tarnish happens sometimes. If you’re looking up how to keep jewelry from tarnishing, it’s likely that you already have some tarnished jewelry in your collection. That’s totally fine!

If you’ve been using polishing cloths for quick wipe downs after use, those can also be used to help clean off tarnish from jewelry. On non-silver jewelry, you can also use a paste made from baking soda, or toothpaste, and a toothbrush to gently remove the tarnish and reveal the shine underneath.

Keep Your Jewelry Shiny and Bright With These Tips

Now you know how to keep jewelry from tarnishing! It’s all about protecting your jewelry from chemicals and moisture in the air around it.

Keeping your jewelry shiny and beautiful is easy if you know how.

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