Why silver turns black and how to avoid it

(ORDO NEWS) — Due to the fact that silver turns black, it has to be cleaned regularly. Is it possible to avoid such tarnishing and why does it even occur?

How much time can you save on cleaning silverware if you follow a few simple rules for storing it. Of course, you can not buy such cutlery at all, but that’s another question.

Silver turns black due to the chemical reaction of the metal with sulfur compounds. As a result, silver sulfide (Ag 2 S) is formed, which is similar to a thin layer of soot on the surface of the metal.

Some sulfur compounds are found in hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and mustard. Contact with them can lead to tarnishing of silverware.

When exposed to air, silver items may turn black due to the reaction of silver with hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S). It is a gas that is formed in the atmosphere due to the activity of manufacturing enterprises and the decomposition of the remains of dead plants.

As a rule, silver tarnishes faster in places with high humidity or high levels of air pollution. In addition, perfumes, hairspray, deodorants, and moisturizers can further blacken silver due to chemicals in their composition that react with the metal.

How to prevent tarnishing of silver?

Cleaning silverware from black plaque is still a hassle. You have to spend a lot of time and put in a lot of effort. Fortunately, all this can be avoided by following simple rules:

  • Store your silverware in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Ideally, they should be stored in sealed bags. You can put a bag of silica gel inside, which absorbs moisture and helps slow down the blackening.
  • Clean and polish your silverware regularly. Wash them periodically in warm water and wipe with a special polishing cloth for silver.
  • Minimize contact with substances that can accelerate the formation of black plaque. For example, remove silver rings while washing dishes or cooking. Also, don’t wear silver jewelry when you’re exercising, showering or bathing, and only wear it after wearing perfume.
  • Rhodium plated silverware. Take the silver to a jeweler and have them plated with rhodium. This will prevent them from tarnishing for a long time, and when the rhodium begins to wear off, you can use this service again.


Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.