Caring for Fine Jewelry: How to Clean Sterling Silver

Caring for Fine Jewelry: How to Clean Sterling Silver

March 25, 2019

Silver jewelry is one of the most popular types of fine jewelry. Silver is so popular, it’s even preferred over gold. If you properly care for your sterling silver jewelry, it can last for an extremely long time (we’re talking several years)!

But how do you care for sterling silver? You want to clean it to ensure the silver jewelry maintains its brilliance. But harsh cleaner can potentially damage the jewelry.

It’s easy to simply neglect cleaning silver, but doing so risks tarnishing the jewelry.

Don’t worry — we can help! Continue reading and know how to clean sterling silver jewelry.

Facts About Sterling Silver

Before we describe the cleaning process, it’s important to know some facts about sterling silver and how this material can degrade. This will help understand the cleaning process.

While all silver tarnishes, some silver jewelry will tarnish quicker than others. This has to do with its purity.

Sterling silver purity is represented by a decimal. The higher the decimal, the purer the silver is. The purer the silver is, the easier it can tarnish.

For example, you’ll want to clean .950 sterling silver more frequently than .925 sterling silver.

How to Clean Sterling Silver

Before cleaning your silver jewelry, see what purity level it is and how often you should clean it. Once you find this information, there are many cleaning methods involved in sterling silver care.

Cleaning Silver

The first step is cleaning off the jewelry. You have two options: a homemade cleaner or a commercial cleaner.

Most people have sterling silver cleaning ingredients in their kitchen. This includes water, soap, baking soda, lemon juice, olive oil, white vinegar, and salt.

In short, you need a cleansing agent mixed with warm water. Be sure to wet your jewelry with a damp washcloth first. Wash the piece gently with your choice of cleansing agent (dish detergent is the most recommended).

Rinse the jewelry piece with the damp washcloth. Dry it with a microfiber cloth.

They also make many sterling silver commercial cleaners. Keep in mind, these cleansers are powerful. It’s best to start with gentle homemade cleaners and only opt for commercial cleaners is the tarnishing is severe.


Polishing is a great alternative to cleaning, especially if your silver jewelry hasn’t fallen victim to tarnishing. Polishing helps make the jewelry’s surface look smooth and shiny.

All you have to do is take a microfiber or soft, nonabrasive cloth and rub over the jewelry.

You can polish your silver jewelry as much as you need to. Polish more frequently for beloved jewelry pieces such as sterling silver wedding bands.

Buy Sterling Silver Jewelry Today

Now that you know how to clean sterling silver jewelry, are you ready to buy a new sterling silver piece?

Some sterling silver jewelry gets tarnished beyond repair. If this happened to any of your jewelry pieces, it’s best to find a replacement.

Not all jewelry stores sell high-quality silver. To find the best new sterling silver jewelry piece, you have to buy it from a store you can trust.

If you’re in the Tampa Bay area, Johnston Jewelers only caries the finest sterling silver jewelry. Contact us today.

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