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How to Clean And Store Silver – DIY Methods to Keep Your Silver Shiny

How to Clean And Store Silver – DIY Methods to Keep Your Silver Shiny

We all have Silver Items and Jewelry at our home but we neglect to take care of them, thinking the process will be complicated or expensive. They get tarnished/blackened when not taken care of or if they are not stored properly. But with the methods given below you can easily clean them at home without any fuss. So let’s roll-up our sleeves and start working to bring your precious silverware back to its former shining glory!!

There are many methods and home remedies for cleaning silver when searched on the internet. But how do you know which method works the best? After a lot of research, we shortlisted a few techniques that works the best for cleaning Silver Articles. And you can usually find almost all the ingredients at home.

  • Dish Soap and Water
  • Tooth Powder (White one only)
  • Silver Polish

 Tips and Caution:

  • These methods are only to be used for Pure Silver and Sterling Silver Items. (Do not use them for Silver Plated Items)
  • It’s better to do a spot-test on a small inconspicuous portion of the Silver Item before cleaning the entire article using the methods given below.
  • Silver Items with precious stones in it are to be cleaned with caution. The stones may get damaged by some chemicals.
  • Buff with circular motions to polish the Silver.
  • Always dry your silver with soft lint – free cloth. Never let it air dry, as it will leave spots of water drops.

1. Dish Soap and Water

Now this is something you will surely find in every home. Mild dish soap will work well in cleaning your silver. Never use abrasive scrubber or scrub the silver hard. The Silver may get scratched. Avoid using lemony dish soap, any acidic soap or any harsh detergent. It is not good for your silver.

DO NOT PUT YOUR SILVERWARE IN A DISHWASHER. The heat and the harsh chemical may actually damage them. Always hand wash them with care.

Instructions:

  1. Dip a soft cloth in a mixture of dish soap and warm water.
  2. Now rub this soapy cloth on the piece of silver you want to clean.
  3. Rinse it with cold water.
  4. Dry it with clean towel and buff it with a soft lint-free cloth.

2. Tooth Powder

Yes, you can use the same thing to clean your silver that you use to clean your pearly white teeth. Make sure your toothpowder is not coarse or it will scratch your silver item. Use fine soft tooth powder.

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle a small amount of tooth powder on a microfiber cloth. (Use white tooth powder only)
  2. Gently rub this cloth on the Silver Item till the tarnish is removed.
  3. Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean towel.
  4. Buff it with a soft lint-free cloth.
  5. For designs and crevices you can use a brush to clean your silver (Brush with soft bristles is recommended so that the silver doesn’t get scratched)

3. Silver Polish

While these home remedies can give a shine to your Silver, you can also use commercial silver polishing products for incredible results. You may not find it in every home. But it is easily available in the market, jewelry shops or online. These products are great and give fantastic results. Silver polish basically strips a layer of the silver leaving you with a fresh new surface of silver. So it’s better to use these products sparingly, only to clean deeply tarnished Silver Items. Every Silver Polish product comes with their own instructions on how to use them. Pure Silver, Sterling Silver, Antique Silver and Silver Plated Silver all have their own special polishing products. Make sure you are using the right product for the type of silver you want to clean. Always read the instructions carefully given on the polishing product and follow them properly.

The internet is full of home remedies for cleaning Silver articles. The weirdest one that we saw was using Tomato Ketchup.

Yeah, you heard that right. Haha! Ketchup and Silver??

We are not sure about it as we have not tried it. We however won’t advice you to try.

We are sure these methods will be able to return the sparkle on your silverware. If you are not interested in polishing silver yourself or you have no time in your busy schedule for silver polishing, you can get your silver polished professionally. Almost all silver jewellers are happy to polish them for you.

Silver is a very soft, gentle metal and gets scratched easily. Using harsh and acidic methods on them may actually damage them. It’s best to ask a silver jeweller or a professional silver cleaner about genuine ways to clean them at home.

Apart from cleaning, it’s important to store them properly so that they don’t get tarnished easily. Proper storage minimizes the silver’s exposure to tarnishing agents like hydrogen sulphide in the air. Let’s see how to store your Silver properly, so as to avoid tarnishing.

How to Store Silver to Avoid Tarnishing

First of all there is no fool-proof plan to protect your Silver articles from turning black because silver reacts with so many materials found in our everyday life. The best you can do is storing it properly so as to minimize its tarnishing.

The main objective is to prevent your silver from any exposure to Air, Humidity and Heat. In order to do that you have to store it the right way.

Things that you will require for storing your Silver properly are:

  • Anti–tarnish Cloth/Flannel Pouch ( Or Acid–free Tissue Paper): These Anti-tarnish Cloth/Pouches are specially treated with chemicals to minimize the process of tarnishing of silver.
  • Ziploc Bag (Or any Airtight Plastic Bag): These bags are airtight and prevent the Silver from any contact with air.
  • Anti-tarnish Strip (Or Silica Gel Bag) (Or Pieces of Chalk): These Strips are specially made to absorb the tarnishing agents present in the air around us.

Method:

  1. Wrap your Silver Item in an Anti-tarnish Cloth/Flannel Pouch. (Or Acid-free Tissue Paper)
  2. Put it in a Ziploc Bag. (Or in an Airtight Plastic Bag)
  3. Add an Anti-tarnish Strip (Or Silica Gel Bag) (Or Pieces of Chalk) in the bag before sealing it shut.
  4. Keep the bag in a cool dry place.

If you store your Silver Items carefully and in a proper way, you can avoid frequent tarnishing of the silver.

This in turn will save you from the time consuming labour of cleaning them over and over again. Frequent cleaning or polishing of silver ultimately damages its lustre and shine. So it’s better to avoid tarnishing as much as possible.

Do’s and Don’ts of using Silver Items.

DO’S
  • Keep your Silver dry. Protect it from moisture as much as possible.
  • If it gets wet, dry it off immediately with a soft cloth.
  • Always clean your Silver with warm water after using it. Dry it off with a soft cloth.
  • Always put on your Silver jewellery only after applying makeup and perfume, as these things accelerate tarnishing.
  • Clean your Silver Jewellery after wearing it as the sweat and oils from our body speed up tarnishing.
  • Store your Silver correctly.
DONT’S
  • Don’t wear your Silver Jewellery while washing up or taking a bath.
  • Don’t wrap your Silver in newspaper as the ink on the newspaper is acidic and may speed up tarnishing.
  • Don’t use rubber bands on your Silverware as it contains sulphur and may tarnish your Silver.
  • Don’t store your Silver in cardboard boxes as they retain moisture and may further increase tarnishing.
  • Don’t keep all your Silver in a single bag/pouch as they will bump into each other and get scratched or dented. Pack each item separately.

So just follow these simple rules while using and storing Silver and you may keep your Silver shiny for longer period of time. It will minimize the need to polish them frequently. Thankfully tarnishing doesn’t actually damage the Silver. It just creates a coat of corrosion over its surface which can easily be cleaned with the methods given above.

Blog written by – Jyoti Agrawal

Content Writer/Blogger

Missj2019@yahoo.com

Why Silver is better than Gold?

Everyone wants to buy gold as a safe haven for investment. But we did some research and found out why silver may be a better buying choice compared to gold.

Silver is More Affordable

Silver is cheaper than gold and protects you in a crisis as much as gold does. Also it’s more practical for every day purchases. Sometimes it’s harder to accumulate money to buy gold, but you can buy silver in that amount. Silver also has lower buying charges compared to gold. So you get more value for money.

Silver demand is rising

Economic advisors and monetary experts, say that the silver which was acquired by the world in five thousand years, is now nearing its end. According to the study of https://www.statista.com/, the global production of silver in 2010 was 23,800 MT, which has increased to only 27,000 MT in 2019. While the use of silver, according to the data of 2018, in various sectors like jewelry, silver coins and bars, silverware, industrial use of electric and electronics, industrial alloys and soldering, photography usage and others was close to 38,600 tons.

Silver reserves are decreasing

Silver is mined at a ratio of 11 to 1 against gold. And now silver mining is falling and so are the government reserves. That means the supply of silver will fall going forward. So with the demand rising and supply decreasing, the prices of silver might increase sooner than expected.

Disproportionate price of Silver vs Gold

Historically gold was 15 times the value of silver. And now it has gone as high as 80 times. That means the rates of gold has gone much higher than the rate of silver. Also most of the gold is lying in lockers and reserves while silver has so many applications and being used on a large scale. The demand of silver is continuously increasing while the supply has been lesser than the demand since many years.

Multiple applications of silver

Industrial use of silver has become much greater as it is now being used in military and medicine applications; Silver is used in electronics, medical applications, even batteries and solar panels. Silver is used in all types of electric switches, relays and batteries. It is used in water purification systems and color (paint) and as a primary component in the photographic industry. Silver usage in industry is more than 50% of its total demand and it’s continuously growing.

Low recycling

Most of industrial silver is consumed or destroyed in the fabrication, hardly any can be recycled. Hence most of the silver consumed isn’t recycled at all which is contributing to the decline in silver stock.

Rising Indian Demand

Silver demand in India has soared in both Jewellery and Silver Articles. And with more and more people understanding the benefits of using silver articles the demand is only growing.

And this is our last and most important point:

Silver is functional

Silver need not be stored in the form of coins, bars or jewellery like gold. You can actually buy functional items made of silver. You can use them in your day to day life while your investment is safe. It can always be polished or recycled and renewed. That is definitely a better way to invest your money.

These are our reasons for you to invest in Silver. We are not asking you to stop buying the gold jewellery you really want to, but just asking you to buy silver for your kids and for your day to day use too. Also, it’s one of the best gifts for your loved ones.

How to Buy Silver in India – A Guide

Silver offers the best value among all precious metals. Even today it is an undervalued commodity and investment in silver is very beneficial and prudent. Unlike Gold, Silver is popular not only for jewellery but also for many gift articles. Silver is the only precious metal with so many offerings; Jewellery, Stationery, Gift Articles, Showpieces, Coins & Bars, Dining Set, Cutlery and even Books. It is considered to be a luxury in India and is gifted on every special occasion to friends and family from birthdays to weddings.

But do you know what things you need to consider before buying silver? Do you know that not every silver article or coin you purchase is same? That there is a difference in purity, price and even weight? Often you do not get the purity you are paying for or a price that is current in the market. Do you know what are the components of pricing while buying a silver article? With so many things to consider, let us help you with how to buy silver in India. We will cover the following topics in the following paragraphs.

♥ Silver Purity

♥ BIS Hallmark

♥ Silver Pricing

♥ Silver Weight

♥ Silver Articles Packaging

♥ Where to Buy?


Silver Purity & Standards Table

Purity Name BIS Standard Common Items
99.9% Fine Silver 999 Coins and Bars
99.0% Pure Silver 990 Coins, Bars and Silverware
97.0% Pure Silver 970 Coins, Bars and Silverware
92.5% Sterling Silver 925 Jewellery and Fancy Items
90.0% Coin Silver 900 Jewellery and Fancy Items
83.5% Silver 835 Jewellery and Fancy Items
80.0% Silver 800 Jewellery and Fancy Items

Did you know silver coins, articles and jewellery are available in different purity levels? You will hear terms like 925 or 92.5%; Sterling or Fine Silver; Silver or Silver Plated, etc. Also more confusion arises when sellers use words like tunch, pure, 100% pure, etc. to specify purity of the silver which are never accurate measure of purity.

What is Silver Purity?

100% Pure Silver is too soft to produce a functional object. Therefore an alloy of Silver and other metals like Copper is used to give the object strength. It does not however effect the appearance of the object.

Silver Purity refers to the percentage content of Silver in the said item. For eg. A 92.5% Pure Silver Pen contains 92.5% Silver and 7.5% other metals.

In India, silver jewellery and items are available in many standard purity levels. These are accepted by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as well. Please refer to the Silver Purity & Standards Table above.

The world-wide accepted standard is the Sterling Silver or 92.5% Purity Silver. Anything above that is obviously better. However due to old trade practices you’ll often find that, in India, silver articles are generally available with purity below sterling silver. Very few jewellers and silver dealers are following silver standards and making silver jewellery and articles with at least 92.5% purity. In Indian market, you are charged the market price of 100% silver for
silver purity of above 80%. You get a discount in the 100% market price
of Silver if you buy a lower purity item. However you have to pay a mark
up of 15% to 20% on the actual purity. So it’s always best to buy the
highest purity possible. All silver items can have their purity certified. The best way is to stamp it with BIS Hallmark.

Silver Alloy

A silver alloy is a metal that contains silver and one or more additional metals. Since silver is a very soft metal and highly reactive to the air, it is typically used as an alloy. For eg: Sterling Silver is a silver alloy with 92.5% Silver (by weight) and 7.5% (by weight) other metals, usually Copper. So 100 grams of Sterling Silver will contain 92.5 grams silver and 7.5 grams copper.

Silver Weight

A practical definition is that it is the weight of the silver that is present in the silver article. Mostly silver articles are always made of silver. For eg. Silverware like a silver glass. In that case weight of the whole glass is weight of silver. However there are many articles which only use silver in part. For Eg. A silver pen. In case of the silver pen, only the outer body is made up of Silver and the inner structure is made of different metals and materials. In this case Silver Weight is considered to be the weight of the outer body only. i. e. Weight of only those parts which are actually made of silver.

Market Price of Silver

The market price of silver metal keeps on changing. Silver is a commodity and is traded on national and international exchanges in spot and future markets. The price of Silver at a particular time is decided by the demand and supply on these exchanges. For practical purposes and in simple terms the price of silver is different every day. This price is called market price of silver. The best way to know the current (spot) market price of silver is to ask your trusted jeweller or it can be found online. However please keep in mind that the spot price differs from city to city as well. Also the price stated online can be different from the actual market price but generally the difference is marginal.

Price of a Silver Article

The final price of a Silver Article has the following components.

  • Price of silver content: Every silver article has silver in it. The weight of silver in the article is multiplied by the current market price to get the price of the silver content in that article. For eg: If the market price of silver is Rs. 40,000/kg and weight of the silver item is 100 grams (0.1 kg) then the price of silver in the article will be Rs. 4,000/-
  • Labour cost: This is the cost, that the manufacturer charges for making the article from a Pure Silver Brick over and above the price of Silver. (It’s also known as Majdoori in Hindi). Labour Cost is generally charged on per gram basis of weight of silver article or per piece basis. It can differ from item to item. Generally Silverware like Glass, Bowl, etc. is charged on per gram basis while unique items and low weight items like Silver Rose, Coconut,  etc. are charged on per piece basis. Labour Cost also includes the profit component.
  • Other material cost: Sometimes other materials are used in a silver article like in a pen, a refill is used. Sometimes wooden, marble base are used for Silver Idols. The cost of such materials is generally included in the labour cost or maybe specified separately.
  • Packaging cost: Silver is a luxury gift and every luxury gift deserves special packaging. The cost of packaging will depend on the type of packaging available. A proper packaging will definitely improve the value of the Silver Gift.
  • Taxes: In India, Silver is taxed @ 3% GST. 

BIS Hallmark:

So how do you know if the silver you are buying is pure? Well, the solution is BIS Hallmark.

BIS Hallmark is highest purity assurance for Silver in India. This means that the product is tested and certified by Government Licensed Hallmarking Centre. Only Licensed Jewellers like us can get their articles hallmarked and it is very strict and very dependable.

Where to buy?

 You can buy silver from anyone who gives you the guarantee of BIS Hallmark. That’s the best way to make sure you are not being cheated. There are many options available in the form of your local jeweler to online sellers.