How to keep your sterling silver jewelry sparkling

July 16, 2017

How to keep your sterling silver jewelry sparkling

Silver will tarnish dues to exposure to air and humidity but also to some products such as ammoniac and chlorine. Do not wear your jewelry while cleaning, taking a shower or in the pool. An ounce of prevention will go a long way.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to stop sterling silver from tarnishing, but with taking simple measures and using the same 3 tools I use everyday in my studio, you will be able to slow it down and even remove it when the time comes.

1- A plastic zip closed bag and a tab of Intercept anti tarnish paper

Your jewelry likes to be worn and wearing your jewelry will help in preventing tarnish. When not worn, your jewelry is best stored in a sealed zip locked bag.

Adding a tab of Intercept anti-tarnish paper will provide protection for up to 12 months. These tabs will not leave deposits on your jewelry. They are non toxic and non abrasive.

2- Sunshine polishing cloth

Do not wait until your jewelry turns black! Before returning your silver jewelry to its sealed bag or storage, wipe it and clean it with a Sunshine jewelry polishing cloth.

Just rub your jewelry with the cloth (try to avoid gemstones) then rinse the jewelry with soap and warm water and pat dry. If necessary, use a soft toothbrush.

Sunshine cloth is impregnated with non scratch micro abrasive. Keep it in a ziplock bag and do to wash it. Do not worry about the black marks, the cloth with works. It is time to replace it when it does not polish anymore.

3- Ionic cleaner

If your jewelry is heavily tarnished, the only method I recommend so far (because I am experimenting with something else...) is using an ionic cleaner. It is gentle, works in 10 seconds and will not damage stones, even the more fragile. 

The best ionic cleaner is made by Speed Brite. There are different models. The Speed Brite mini 100SB is great for home use. It has a small footprint on a countertop and runs on a 9V battery.

The intercept paper and Sunshine cloth are inexpensive. The Ionic cleaner is a bit more of an investment. Hold it a bit before you buy one as I think I have found a better, easier and way cheaper solution... I'll update this article. If you'd like to make sure you don't miss it, don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list.


  • abrasive silver polish (the ones that come in a cream form and that you buy at the grocery store)
  • silver dip or any chemical tarnish remover
  • homemade recipes involving baking soda, boiling water, aluminum foil (even if your name is McGiver) 
  • ultrasonic cleaners and/or steam cleaners on pieces with gemstones, pearls and turquoises as well as pieces with a blackened patina. If a guy in the mall offers to clean your jewelry for free, just say no, OK?


If you have any question or doubt about how to clean a piece of jewelry you have bought from me, please, please ask me!

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