One of the worst things about working with silver is the issue of cleaning. It’s amazing how quickly it stains and:
It gets UGLY!
If we do not have the piece in use, or we have left it on the bedside table or in the bathroom, it is more than certain that when we want to use it again it has begun to take a dark and dull tone with yellowish shades.
I find it curious because I oxidize many of my pieces artificially, accelerating the process by means of reagents. It’s a finish I love. A silver of an intense dark gray color, which we can leave matte or give shine.
But of course, it is one thing to do it on purpose, and another very different thing is that the pieces get stained without us wanting it.
The reason why silver oxidizes is due to contact with hydrogen sulfide in the air, this time oxygen is not to blame, although we still call it oxidation. This provokes a reaction and generates silver sulphide, forming first yellowish spots that little by little will go darkening.
Thanks to this reaction we have no more and no less than the origin of the photograph. A groso modo is silver that has reacted next to silver that has not done it, and of there comes all the scale of grays.
But back to our little jewels
It is clear that simple exposure to air blackens the material (it’s a good way to know if it’s silver or not, it couldn’t be all negative), but our own PH, if it’s very acidic, cosmetics, cleaning products, are not good friends of silver.
The conclusion is that, yes or yes, our silver pieces are going to oxidize, so:
How can I avoid getting silver stains?
The only way to avoid this 100% is to have no silver, and that’s not an option, we love our silver pieces.
So, how to minimize this?
There are several things we can do in a simple way to protect our silver. An easy and simple one is that when we do not wear our jewelry, is always well stored in a box or a plastic bag, thus being protected from the air.
It is also important to remove them whenever you are going to use some kind of cleaning product, especially if it is bleach, or makeup. In addition this will help us not to scratch.
It is not advisable to take a shower with the pieces on, as they can affect the soaps and are more exposed to scratches, which can go back to mates.
Apart from these small basic tips, there are homemade methods to clean the silver once it has been stained.
I have to admit that since I use specific machinery and products to clean in the workshop, I have never tried one of these cleaning tricks.
So, in post of the knowledge, I will be putting, little by little, videos with the different processes and results, to see if we manage to see our shining silver.