How to look after silver jewellery

Ever gone to your jewellery box to get out that gorgeous silver bangle you wore last summer on the beach only to discover it is now it is not shiny and lovely and now it looks rather dirty and black. Why has it lost its shine? 

necklaces silver1

 Well silver, left alone on it own, exposed to the elements, will unfortunately, tarnish. 

I often get emails from people asking me how to get back the shine on silver jewellery  and the first thing I ask them is ‘where do you keep your jewellery’?

If your necklace was at the bottom of a draw or left on the side for months on end without so much as a second glance then your jewellery will be exposed to the elements and the ‘black’ colour you are seeing is in fact down to the pollution in the air.

Silver didn’t used to tarnish. In fact for most of human history silver was popular and highly valued for its ability to shine and retain its lustre. As the years have past it has been discovered that silver reacts with sulphur and unfortunately in this polluted world,  silver can react quite quickly to the pollutants in the air.

But when I wear my silver jewellery it is fine and the air is polluted?

When we wear jewellery all the time we are constantly washing our jewellery and it rubs against the clothes we wear or even our skin which means any pollutants are constantly removed from the jewellery. However when we keep a piece of jewellery in a draw or in a jewellery dish, open to the elements, it will tarnish. This won’t happen overnight, in some environments where there is low pollutant levels you will find it might not tarnish at all, it might just lose it’s shine a bit. 

So what to do when you find your silver not silver anymore?

Here are just a few household ideas that you can turn to when you want to clean up that silver. Because let’s face it, we don’t all own professional jewellery cleaning equipment and often we need something at home we can access right away! 

Tomato Ketchup

Usually a staple in most peoples kitchen cupboard, ketchup has been known to bring a shine to dull silver. Dab a bit of ketchup on a kitchen roll and use it to scrub up the piece of jewellery you want to clean. For really tarnished silver, you might want to leave the sauce on for 15 mins and then wipe clean (you might want to wash in water to get rid of the ketchup smell also) 

Hand Sanitizer 

This might be one for when you are on your travels and want to brighten up your jewellery. The liquid hand sanitizer is a good cleaner of silver so squirt a few drops on a soft cloth and polish away. 


Not just for your teeth but for your jewellery also! I have used toothpaste a number of times for cleaning silver and find it to be quite effective. Pop a few dabs on a soft cloth and get cleaning. 

Window cleaner

 If you like your windows clear and sparkling then you will have some good old window cleaner to hand in your home. Spray some onto a soft cloth and use it to clean up your silver. 

Hair Conditioner

Doesn’t just make your hair soft but also cleans silver free from tarnish (and tangles) Pop a bit on a soft cloth and polish away that tarnish. 

Do make sure you use a soft cloth for all cleaning, anything abrasive can damage your jewellery.

How to protect your silver 

When we are not wearing your silver always keep your jewellery in a jewellery bag, or box. EsmeLoves sends all jewellery gifts in a cotton bag with a unique hand block print design in pink or grey colour. 

With any jewellery items, please do take care, especially if there are gemstones or diamonds included in your jewellery. Never use any chemicals that you are not sure about, if in doubt, pop along to a local jewellery who should be able to polish your jewellery to make it look brand new. 

Love Silver jewellery? Take a look at our silver collection here 


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