How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry

How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry

How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry

Almost everyone owns one or more pieces of sterling silver jewelry.

Jewelry made from sterling silver is versatile and durable. It lasts many years and always looks great. It matches well with almost any style and it's a wonderful choice for both men and women.

Whether you choose light, elegant, frilly sterling silver jewelry or if you prefer more rock and roller or biker styles like those offered by vendors such as, there's something for everyone in this realm.

Look in your jewelry box or drawer and gather all of your sterling silver. Does it glimmer and shine? If not, it's time for a cleaning.

What? You don't know how to clean sterling silver jewelry? Well you came to the right place to find out. Read on for some great jewelry cleaning tips and get started right now!

Does Sterling Silver Jewelry Tarnish?

You may notice that some of your sterling silver jewelry has lost its luster. Fortunately, this is something you can fix quite easily. Sterling silver jewelry does tarnish because most .925 sterling silver includes 7.5% copper. Copper reacts when it is exposed to oxygen and moisture, and as a result, it becomes less shiny over time. 

How to Keep Sterling Silver Jewelry Clean

Believe it or not, the best way to keep your sterling silver clean is by wearing it on a very regular basis. The oils created by your skin work to keep the silver clean over time and you'll notice that the pieces you wear often do not tarnish as rapidly as the pieces you keep in your jewelry box. 

Furthermore, make a point to wipe down your jewelry before you return it to your storage space. A number of different things can negatively affect the look of your jewelry such as household chemicals, cosmetics, substances containing sulfur, or even outdoor activities. Wiping down your jewelry before storing it will help it to look better longer.

Tarnishing is caused by exposure to air, so if you want to keep your jewelry looking its best, store it in an airtight container. Even a plastic zip-top bag will be a big help.

How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry

There are a number of different ways to clean your sterling silver jewelry at home. You likely even already have all of the items you'll need to do it well. Try each of the following methods and choose the one you like best.


A polishing cloth will do wonders for your jewelry and you can do it anytime and anywhere. This simple cleaning method is all you need for success.  A special silver cloth will keep your jewelry from scratching; don't use just any rag. Back and forth motions all over your piece will bring back the shine you love.

Soap & Water

Warm water and mild soap can take your cleaning process a step further. Phosphate-free dish soap is a perfect soap for this method. If the polishing rag didn't improve the look of your jewelry, chances are that this method will make a big difference.

Baking Soda & Water

If you're still not pleased with the results that you see, you can make a paste out of baking soda and water.  Use a cloth to rub it over the surface of your jewelry and then wipe it off with a rag. You can use a toothbrush to get into the crevices. When you're done, run it under warm water and dry it.

Happy Cleaning and Wearing

Now that you know how to keep your sterling silver jewelry clean, and to clean it if it gets tarnished, dive right in and get started! Soon you'll be wearing the jewelry you love on a more regular basis and it will help you to let your own personality shine, too. Enjoy!

If you're interested in reading more great articles about fashion and style, check out the Fashion section of this site for more.