What causes tarnish on jewelry and how to remove it

September 12, 2017

Tarnish pad with septum ring mystic moon shop

Pretty much all metals tarnish, some faster than others, copper for instance is a very fast tarnishing metal, while 14k gold has a slower tarnish rate but it will still tarnish. All jewelry metals contain alloys of silver, copper, and zinc. 24K (too soft, and not durable for most jewelry) would most likely not tarnish because there would be no alloy contained in it. 
Due to these alloys, all metals will definitely experience tarnish. Some factors that will speed up the tarnish/oxidizing process are:
Geographical location
-is your customer in a state with high humidity like Florida, or a low humidity state like Colorado? Humidity will speed up the tarnishing factor on metals

PH levels of a person's skin 
Everyone has a different PH level based on food choices and other factors-One example: I cannot wear gold filled; it turns me green within 30 minutes. My friend wears gold filled, it stays bright and shiny all the time and looks like solid gold on her. A more acidic system the jewelry will tarnish faster!

Usage 
-Is the piece being worn 24/7? This will cause faster tarnishing!
-Are you swimming/ showering/ wearing the jewelry in salt water?
-Are you applying lotions with jewelry on, or putting the jewelry on right after applying lotions or oils? Hair dye, make up and astringents will also cause jewelry to tarnish quick!
- Is it being worn in a piercing? This will cause jewelry to tarnish quick and requires a bit of extra cleaning and attention.
 
Recommendations for cleaning tarnish off jewelry
Clean regularly with a commercial cleaner you can purchase at a grocery store, drug store or jewelry shop. You will want to get one that is specific to the jewelry you are cleaning. Read the label to see what you can clean with it ie: sterling silver, gold etc
Piercing jewelry can be cleaned easily without removing it by using toothpaste and rubbing the jewelry in the piercing and rinsing off in the shower. 
Soaking your jewelry in vinegar and brushing with a soft toothbrush works well and Dawn dishwashing detergent is a good jewelry cleaner! A REALLY great way to get rid of heavy tarnish is use baking soda and dawn dish detergent after soaking in vinegar. My rings are always shiny and pretty because I wash my hands with dawn and baking soda to get all the residue from making jewelry off my hands :) 
We carry some great polish pads that clean jewelry right up! If you cant find the listing under helpful items, message us!



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