Caring for your Spindrift Jewellery
I regularly get asked about the best way to care and clean sterling silver jewellery, so here are my top tips and information on the best way to look after your Spindrift.
I design the Spindrift Collections jewellery with your outdoor adventures and wanderings in mind. We use 100% sterling silver in our designs, which is primarily recycled sterling silver. We never use plated or in-filled metals as we love the beautiful pure quality of solid sterling silver and we love that it can be recycled infinitely.
The number 925 represents Sterling Silver, which is actually 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals (normally copper). 100% silver is much too soft to be used in jewellery, as it would scratch, break and dent too quickly which is why sterling silver was created to make it tougher in order to withstand daily use and wear.
Sterling silver by nature is a naturally soft metal and it loves to be worn. Wearing it gently polishes the metal against your skin and clothes which keep it looking shiny. So ultimately the best way to keep your sterling silver jewellery looking at its best is to simply wear it!
Sterling silver will naturally tarnish over time, this is quite normal, and is not a fault with the metal or any issue with its quality, it’s just a natural process. The metal will slowly react with its environment and start to dull and loose its shine and a layer of tarnish will build up.
The tarnish is very easy to clean. Using a simple soft cotton cloth will normally be enough to wipe off the thin layer of tarnish and to bring it back to its original shine. If the tarnish has become more prominent and the silver is looking quite dark and dull, then using a special sterling silver cleaning cloth is a great way to polish the silver back to its original shine. Silver clothes have been embedded with a silver polishing agent to gently lift the tarnish from the metal. I would avoid using heavy chemical silver dips as they use so many chemicals to clean the metal and can cause issues with silver chains if left in the chemicals for too long.
Beach glass is generally quite strong, after having been tumbled in the ocean for so many years, but should still be treated the same way you would treat any other glass item as it can be damaged or break if knocked or dropped on a hard surface. Over time the beach glass may also get dirty, so to retain its lovely frosted colour, I recommend giving it a good clean with an old tooth brush and gentle soap every few weeks, to remove any dark tarnish marks that have come from rubbing against the silver. To clean them, just take the piece of glass off the necklace and wash with soap and an old toothbrush, then rinse and dry before you put them back on your necklace.
What else can you do to care for your jewellery:
-Be mindful to keep your jewellery clean and dry and store in away the box or pouch supplied with each piece when you are not wearing it.
– Give your jewellery a gentle polish with a soft cotton cloth each week, only takes 2 mins!
-Don’t wear your jewellery in a chlorinated swimming pool.
-Be careful of your jewellery when wearing it, to ensure that you don’t get it caught on your clothing or other things.
-If you do wear your jewellery in the ocean, make sure you thoroughly wash and dry it afterwards using fresh water. Leaving sterling silver jewellery salty and damp will quicken the tarnish process and weaken the jewellery, which leads to breakage.
-Make sure you don’t get your jewellery tangled together, as this could cause kinks or breaks in the metal.
-Always try and always keep your sterling silver jewellery away from strong perfumes, cosmetics or chemicals, as this encourages the silver to tarnish much much more quickly.
One thing I have realised over the years, is that people who wear strong perfumes and cosmetics that have been created with synthetic chemicals have much more trouble with tarnish on their silver jewellery.
I switched to using 100% organic and natural cosmetics about 7 years ago, as I was concerned with the amount of chemicals in each of the products I had been previously using, some of which I couldn’t even pronounce! After a little more research I found that some of the standard chemicals found in many cosmetic products had links to cancer! Not something I wanted to be putting on my skin, so I switched to natural and chemical free products and have never looked back! It turns out these chemicals in commercial cosmetics also considerably increase the tarnish of your silver jewellery!
We recently spoke to Naturopath Bridget Carmady from Clémence Organics about commercial skincare products. Bridget said:
“Commercial skincare products can contain a wide variety of synthetic ingredients, chemicals, artificial fragrances and preservatives. The long term use and safety of many of these ingredients is yet to be established and some with questionable safety are still in use e.g. formaldehyde which can be found in shampoo, soaps and nail hardeners. You even need to question the packaging used to contain your skincare products. For example, bisphenol A (BPA) hit the media a few years ago when it was found to be leaking from plastic packaging and turning up in the human body. Thinking about the effect on your personal health is one thing, but what about the health of the environment? Products we use to cleanse and exfoliate our skin enter our environment via the waterways and can have a detrimental effect on water plants and animals e.g. microbeads and nanoparticles”
So being much more mindful about what you put on your skin and clean your house, is actually not only better for you, it’s better for the environment and in fact even better for your sterling silver jewellery too!
If you have any questions about caring for your jewellery, feel free to contact us and we will be very happy to help you.