Hi All, Today I thought I share with you my top sterling silver care tips as well as some maintenance tips for elastic bracelets.
We all have those special sterling silver jewelery pieces which we may keep stashed away in their own separate containers or bags, keeping them separate from other fashion plated jewelry. These pieces we may reserve for wearing on special occasions or perhaps pull out every day to mix and match with other pieces. Just as with those clothing items in our wardrobe that we would do anything to keep looking new, the same goes with our beautiful sterling silver.
With the exception of some silver plated pieces and 24K gold over Bronze, Talulah Lee Jewelry is primarily made from sterling silver. This attractive material makes for an amazing foundation and a smooth sleek finish. My tips below pertain to specifically to my sterling silver charm and elastic link bracelets – however, the same care tips apply to sterling silver necklaces and and sterling silver earrings. I hope that you will find these tips useful, and if you have an elastic bracelet you will appreciate the maintenance tips!
General Care Tips
When wearing your sterling silver, be aware that some elements can really harm and cause permanent discoloration, tarnish and fade marks. In particular moisture, water, and high humidity environments. Always remove your sterling silver jewelry when washing dishes, bathing, or if the temperature is upwards of 30 C / 85 degrees F. If you go on vacation to the beach I would perhaps leave all your sterling silver at home! Specifically for link and charm bracelets there are interconnecting links and small rings so much of the moisture can be retained in the crevices in between, unnoticeable to the eye. It’s always best to avoid moisture environments if possible (and sand as the tiny particles can really scratch).
Tarnish can also be caused by everyday foods so be careful. These include onions, eggs, salad dressings and mostly anything salty. Wool, felt, and latex gloves can also attribute to this and so I advise to avoid them if you are wearing sterling silver.
When not wearing, keep your sterling silver pieces in a Ziploc plastic bag or any drawstring cotton bag (make sure its dark to block out light and airtight). This will prevent your bracelet from rubbing against other jewelry metal pieces and prevent any scratching on the piece. Avoid storing your sterling silver jewelry on wood surfaces, because wood has acidic properties which can ruin the finish of silver and leave tarnish spots. Oak is supposedly the worst for this.
You can use a gentle polishing cloth specific for jewelry. In my experience this is really all you need. Always make sure to use a cloth and not paper towels, hand towels, any roughed surface towel, etc. Avoid jewelry dip solutions/liquids as these tend to be very abrasive and may cause permanent damage. Avoid any cleaners that include salt, alcohol, acetone or bleaching agents. There are many who say you can use toothpaste and baking soda – but please note these actually do not work! Toothpaste – although it will remove dirt quite well, will leave acidic residue on silver and baking soda will cause tiny pits to form in which chemicals and moisture can be trapped and eventually cause permanent damage.
As a basic home remedy for silver, you may use a tiny amount of liquid detergent and warm water to remove dirt fingerprints and makeup with a chamois cloth. Just make sure wipe dry afterwards with the jewelry cloth and leave out to air dry for 30 minutes before storing. This is extremely important as any moisture trapped in an airtight bag will cause tarnish. I highly recommend Sunshine cloths they are great for buffing and polishing!
Thats all I use for my sterling silver and thats really all you’ll ever need, be sure to do it regularly though and if you wear you item daily I would recommend to give it a quick polish 1x time a month. Rub in a light circular motion all around your piece and instantly you will see it start to show the sparkle and sheen as when it was first new. But remember do not use the polishing cloth on your gemstones or crystals as that can cause damage.
Maintenance for Elastic Bracelets
This section here is specifically for maintaining Talulah Lee link bracelets with elastic….but I thought I would include it as its pretty important for anyone who has any type of elasticated bracelet. Eventually after wearing, you may notice your bracelet feels looser or stretched out. With everyday wear this may be noticeable in about 12-15 months. I recommend that you have your bracelet restrung at least 1x time per year.
Most local (high end only) jewellers can perform this service for a small fee. All my bracelets use two layers of 1mm extra strength silicone elastic and your jeweller should be familiar with it. They can measure your wrist ensuring the right amount of elastic to fit your rings and ensure it won’t come apart by tying it in a special knot.
Alternatively, I am happy to provide this service for 300KR (approx. 50USD) however, shipping to me is the buyers responisbility. Shipping back is included with the price of the service. As part of the restringing service I will also clean and polish all the rings of your bracelet. If you choose to send your bracelet back for cleaning and restringing please do so by recorded delivery and include a cover note with your full name, address details, size of bracelet and when you purchased the bracelet if you can remember. Once received a reserved listing or Paypal invoice will be sent to you so you can pay for the restringing and cleaning service.
One other tip I have for elastic bracelets is how to take it on and off. When putting on and taking off avoid pulling from just one side, which could can cause uneven stretching. Its best to roll it on in a funnel motion. This can be done by putting together your fingers so that they are touching the tips, then with your other hand gently slide the bracelet on over the fingers, knuckles and then onto your wrist evenly. When taking it off also its best to follow this funnel motion.
Lastly, don’t forget all of your sterling silver is meant to be worn. Wear it with love and most of all enjoy it!! Wearing it will actually help reduce tarnishing since the oils from your skin actually slow down the tarnishing process. Cool huh?
If you have any concerns or additional questions about jewelry care, or even another sterling silver care tip to share please let me know!