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Updated by Marc Rothenberg on Jul 05, 2018
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How to Prevent Silver from Tarnishing

Keeping silver from tarnishing isn’t as tricky as many people think. In fact, probably the best way to keep your silver shiny is to simply just use it regularly. But there are plenty of other ways to prevent silver from tarnishing for those of us who like to keep it stowed away until we need it for special occasions.

1

Oxidation

Silver tarnishes because of oxidation, which occurs due to hydrogen sulfide in the air. But tarnish affects just the top few layers of the metal and doesn’t have to be something that completely ruins your jewelry or silverware. It can, however, be particularly damaging to items that are merely silver-plated with a thin layer of silver.

2

Anti-Tarnish Strips

Anti-tarnish strips are an economical and perfectly safe was to prevent your silver from tarnishing. These strips can be inserted into jewelry boxes, zip-lock bags, and other cases for silver items. Anti-tarnish strips permanently neutralize gases that cause tarnish. Just simply place them in with your silver and let them go to work!

3

Keep Dry

To prevent tarnish, store your silver in a dry container, box, or pouch. There are some tricks to ensuring that your silver storage is dry enough. One way is to save the ‘do not eat’ packets that come in shoes and medication and toss them into wherever you’re storing your silver. Another way to promote dryness is to put a stick or two of chalk in with your silver.

4

Avoid Certain Substances/Materials

Acid not only will tarnish silver, it also eats away at it. Acid is horrible for silver, but sulfur is even worse. The acidic foods to keep away from your silver include lemons (lemon juice), limes (lime juice), and vinegar. Foods that are bad for silver and high in sulfur include mustard, eggs, and onions. There are also certain materials to avoid storing your silver with such as latex, wool, and other metals like stainless steel and aluminum.

5

Hand Wash

The chemicals in dishwasher detergent are awful for silver. Silver should be washed by hand gently with dish soap and then dried with a soft cotton cloth.

6

Use It

Going back to what we mentioned earlier in this blog, there’s no easier or better way to prevent silver from tarnishing than by using is regularly. Use the silverware for a Tuesday night dinner or break out the nice silver jewelry for some errand running.