There are a few different ways you can clean silver. Keeping your silver watch clean is important if you want it to look nice and shiny and at its ultimate best.
You can apply these methods below to other silver items such as your bracelet, necklace, earrings or any other forms of silver jewellery, as well as cutlery including stainless steel and any other silver products you might own.
Read on for the best methods for cleaning silver and why you should clean it.
The Importance of Cleaning Silver
Cleaning silver is important if you want to prevent excessive damage to the surface of the metal and maintain that overall shiny silver style its intended to look.
Silver is a soft metal, which causes it to tarnish so easily. Although silver watches are considered luxury watches, silver can react to oxygen, moisture, gases and dust and a combination of these different factors causes that chemical reaction to silver resulting in a change of appearance.
Why Silver Watches Need Cleaning
The chemical reaction that happens to silver will cause it to change in colour, therefore its appearance won’t be as bright.
This is why it’s necessary to keep a regular cleaning routine whenever this happens. To look after your silver will prevent further damage and it will maintain its finest appearance.
Silver often contains different metals - for example, sterling silver is often infused with a copper alloy. The different ingredients within silver and the changes to its environment are factors that can alter and speed up the way in which silver tarnishes.
How to Care for Your Silver Watch
There are a few different ways you can care for your silver to keep it looking at its best. Best of all many of these ingredients can be found lying around your cupboards at home.
A Quick Wash
A quick and easy wash for your silver is great if you are pushed for time, but you may want to give your watch a quick refresh if it is looking a bit dull. Be sure to create a simple soapy water solution.
Using a mild dishwashing soap and warm water, carefully clean around the watch head. If you have a complete stainless steel watch, then you can include the strap when cleaning your device.
Homemade solutions are great for cleaning silver and natural cleaning remedies are often way better than shop-bought cleaning products.
Not to mention they will be considerably cheaper too, meaning they will save you money whilst making your silver sparkle! Some ingredients have also been used as cleaning agents for endless different cleaning purposes throughout the home for many many years.
An ingredient to use for a fantastic cleaning solution you can create at home is baking soda. It has natural brightening properties and so makes for a great silver cleaner. Mix 2 tablespoons together with ½ cup of white vinegar in a bowl with some warm water.
For silver items like jewellery or silver cutlery, you can leave them to soak in the solution for a while. However, for items with different components and materials like a stainless silver or steel watch, you can simply dip a cloth into the solution and carefully clean the silver parts around your watch face.
Be careful when it comes to cleaning a watch that has a stainless case but a leather strap, as the cleaning power of the vinegar can be harsh on leathers, particularly delicate ones, so should be best kept away if possible.
Also tomato ketchup, lemon juice and toothpaste are all other great ingredients that will be the right level of gentle whilst being tough on tarnishing.
The good news is you will more than likely have at least one of them to hand at home. When choosing to use lemon juice and also with the toothpaste option, it is best to make a mixture by diluting with some water first for the best results. All three ingredients mentioned will give a fantastic shine to your silver watch.
Silver Plated or Silver Antiques
Be conscious if you are wanting to clean silver plated items or silver antiques. These items will only contain silver at surface level and are likely to contain a range of different metals underneath. Using harsh cleaning products and acids could remove the silver from the surface and completely ruin your items.
If you are unsure, lookout for a silver stamp marking on your silver products or check your watch's information booklet, as different parts of your watch could be made up of a combination of sterling silver, stainless steel or silver-plated metals.
If ever still in doubt, just use one of the softer methods such as mild soap and warm water or baking soda and warm water, and carefully clean your silver with a soft-bristled brush and cotton buds this will still be effective but will be more gentle than some other solutions.
Bear in mind these methods and advice are for the cleaning of silver watches only, not gold. As cleaning gold sometimes requires different ingredients.
So remember before you use any of these methods mentioned to double-check your metal, to make sure you are not using a solution of the wrong kind. You wouldn’t want to strip any top layer from any metal leaving behind a possible dull underneath.
You should clean your silver wristwatch every time you feel it’s looking not quite its best, a bit dim and tired or not quite as you remember it when you first took it out of the box. How often this will be will differ from person to person and depending on the daily usage of and the general wear and tear along with the elements it’s exposed to.