Humidity and chemicals in the air cause tarnishing. It is difficult to stop the tarnishing process completely, but by following a few simple instructions you can slow the process down. When you are storing your silver it is best if you keep it separate to your other jewellery, in its box, or for even better results an air tight grip seal bag. Do not store your silver in newspaper or cling film. You can purchase anti tarnishing papers that can be stored with your silver whilst you are not wearing it and although this does not stop tarnishing completely it does slow the process down considerably (these are available from most supermarkets or jewellers). The following may cause tarnishing: Hairspray, perfume, salt, oily residue from handling, chlorine, latex and rubber, wool, felt, onions, eggs, mayonnaise, salad dressings and salty foods.
Cleaning and polishing
From time to time your silver may need to be polished. It is important not to over polish your silver as you may start to loose fine detail in the product, for example, where there are names and/or fingerprints.
You can buy silver polishing cream from most supermarkets or jewellers, it is important to use an nonabrasive cloth when polishing your silver (you can buy these especially for the job). You can also buy cloths and pads impregnated with polish that can give your silver a really nice shine. Avoid using dips with fingerprint jewellery as these are harsh and can damage the print. Also avoid wearing rubber gloves to clean your silver as they are known to corrode it.
You can clean your silver gently in warm (not hot) water, using a phosphate-free detergent, it is advisable that you use a soft (non-abrasive) cloth for both the cleaning and drying.
Silver is a soft metal and does have to be treated with care to avoid knocks and scratches.