Gold or sterling silver items may tarnish or become dull with time. Occasional hand buffing with a gold or silver polishing product may be required.
It is recommended that you remove jewelry before doing any task that involves any strong chemicals such as chlorine.
Chlorine is very harmful to all precious metals. Even the chlorine in hot tubs and sometimes strongly chlorinated pool water can cause harm.
CARE AND CLEANING OF YOUR JEWELRY
Please clean your jewelry often. You may use a non-detergent soap, including dish-washing soap. Use a toothbrush (no toothpaste, though!) and a soft cloth. Be sure to clean your jewelry if it has been exposed to oils, salt, chlorine, or abrasive materials such as sand, soil, or talcum powder. For silver jewelry, clean of foods like egg and salad dressing. Make certain that you clean inside rings where dirt can be trapped. Follow the manufacturer's directions when using commercial jewelry and silver cleaning products.
Polishing your jewelry
Cleaning and polishing are two different processes. Cleaning removes dirt and grime. Polishing is a process whereby scratches are removed from the metal. At home, you can use a polishing cloth or cream made specifically for this purpose. They are available from various manufacturers and it will state clearly on the product that it will polish. These cloths and creams contain small particles that will remove light scratches when rubbed on the metal. Be sure to rinse your jewelry well to remove all of these particles before you wear it again.
Silver jewelry Silver jewelry will get dirty and it may tarnish. Dirt and grime is best removed by cleaning with dish-washing soap and water and then drying with a soft cloth. Pay particular attention to nooks and crannies.
Silver will react with sulphur-containing substances and it will discolour. The discoloration will begin as a pale yellow and may darken to blue-black. The sulphur can come from a variety of sources: foods such as eggs, salad dressing, onions and other vegetables; wood; wool; rubber bands; latex gloves; hair sprays and cosmetics; medications and medicated creams; salt and chlorine (including that found in bleach, chlorinated swimming pools, and hot tubs). As well, there is sulphur in the air pollution around us, and sometimes well water will contain sulphur. Even the oils in skin can cause silver to tarnish. Tarnishing is more evident in high humidity and is accelerated by heat. Silver jewellery in storage can tarnish if it is stored when dirty or near anything that has sulphur in it, including some plastics, rubber, and the glues in packaging materials. All silver can tarnish, and tarnish is not an indication of poor quality. In fact, silver jewellery is sometimes intentionally darkened by tarnishing in order to better show design details.
Frequent cleaning with a phosphate-free detergent will help to avoid tarnish. Light tarnish can often be removed with a gentle cloth and dish-washing soap. If your silver becomes darkened with tarnish, there are several tarnish-removing solutions and cloths available. Follow the instructions on the product as provided by the manufacturer. I recommend any of the following: Goddard's Silver Polish, Cream, and Polishing Cloth; 3M's Tarn-Shield and Silver Polish; Twinkle and Hagarty Polish and Cloths. I do not recommend any liquid that requires you to dip your jewelry into it. These liquids can be harsh and can damage your silver. Do not use toothpaste. Toothpaste can dull the polish on your jewelry. Do not use bleach or any product with bleach in it.
There is information on the internet that gives instructions on how to clean silver using salt, baking soda, washing soda, and aluminium foil sheets. While these methods will work, there is a risk of damage to your jewelry. I would strongly discourage you from using these treatments.
Silver, and sometimes even gold, can leave a dark stain on your finger or neck. There are several causes of this, only two of which happen particularly frequently. The first possibility is tarnish. If the silver is tarnishing, this tarnish can be left on your skin. You can clean the tarnish of and avoid the cause of the tarnish in the future. The second possibility is actually quite common, yet it is the reason of which people are least aware. Essentially, it is that very small amounts of the metal in both silver and gold jewelry can wear off, and these are left on the wearer's skin as a dark mark. This happens due to the many mild abrasives with which we come into contact on a daily basis. Some of these abrasives can become trapped under a ring or in the links of a chain, or they can become stuck to jewelry when trapped in oils and creams. The most common abrasives that cause this to happen are talcum powder, baby powder, soaps, toothpaste, and cosmetics. Other sources of abrasive material include cleaning powders, fine sand, dust and dirt, and garden soil. Sometimes, if jewelry has been cleaned with a jewelry cleaning paste and cloth and then inadequately rinsed, some of the cleaner will be left behind as a darkness on the skin. Stains caused for any of these reasons will stop when the jewelry is cleaned, as long as no further abrasive material gets on it.
If mercury comes into contact with gold or silver, it will be absorbed into the metal. The metal will discolour and will stain the skin. This problem requires a professional solution. Contact me, or see another qualified goldsmith.
Salt and chlorine Salt and chlorine will attack gold and silver. They can corrode the metals and discolour them. Light damage can be polished away. Severe damage can weaken the metal, causing it to crack. This problem requires a professional solution. Contact me, or see another qualified goldsmith.
Story of O Rings and other Story of O Jewelry
This jewelry has a shackle that runs through a hole in the slave jewelry design. Dirt, grime, and abrasive materials in the hole will cause excessive wear. Be sure to clean and rinse this loop and the hole that it runs through often.
If you have any questions, or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I am happy to help you keep any of the jewelry that I have made for you looking it's very best.