Time and the elements can take the sparkle out of your precious items, leaving them looking tired and tarnished. We have some tips to clean and preserve your keepsakes for many years to come.
Sterling Silver, Silver & Gold Plate
The reason that silver tarnishes is that silver reacts with the hydrogen sulphide present in the air forming silver sulphide (tarnish). This can easily be removed by cleaning with an anti tarnish polishing cloth or a quality silver proprietary polish (available from most hardware shops & jewellers). Make sure the cloth is clean and free from dirt as it may scratch the soft surface of the silver.
Too much cleaning and excessive handling can make the engraving become faint due to loss of the surface.
Never clean silver with general household cleaners such as scouring powder as it will scratch the surface or bleach which will leave a permanent ugly stain.
When storing, do not keep silver in sealable plastic bags. Condensation will form inside the bag & will speed up the chemical reaction (tarnish).
Make sure each piece is completely dry and wrap in acid-free tissue paper. Do not use newspaper or bind it with rubber bands. Store in a cool, dark place.
Rhodium, Chrome & Nickel
Use an anti-tarnish polishing cloth to restore the beautiful finish. Make sure the cloth is clean and free from dirt as it may scratch the surface.
Pewter doesn't tarnish but it may develop a darker colouring.
Hand wash pewter in warm water using a mild detergent. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth.
A commercial pewter-cleaning polish may be used. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Do not use silver or brass polish.