Silver worn on the body darkens from various factors. First of all, it dims because a chemical reaction occurs from the contact of silver with air. Then it changes color, acquiring a brown or black coating. To prevent this from happening, silver should be cleaned and polished more often.
Air and sulfur reaction
The darkening of silver is similar to the appearance of rust on iron. Corrosion occurs as a result of oxidation, because the oxygen in the air reacts with the top layer of iron. But silver doesn't rust. It fades due to the plaque formed on it. This dull layer appears when sulfur particles in the atmosphere come into contact with silver.
Sulfuric gas is present in the Earth's atmosphere, which is increasingly converted into sulfur dioxide as a result of environmental pollution.
Other causes of darkening of silver
Some soaps contain sulfur components. If you do not remove the silver chain while washing dishes or hands, then silver has every chance of darkening.
Magnesium sulfate is sometimes found in groundwater.
In some areas of the land, Epsom salt undergoes a chemical reaction and turns into hydrogen sulfide. Then the gas can rise from the ground.
In some cases, silver reacts with the skin of the wearer. The chemical composition of the skin of individuals does not allow them to wear silver on their bodies, because the reaction occurs very quickly. As a result, the skin turns dark and the silver darkens.
Perfumes, lotions, and hairsprays also react with silver. Metal tarnishes from contact with wool, latex gloves, sebum, ammonia, chlorinated water. Certain types of food also cause chemical reactions. The metal will change color if you frequently eat onions, mayonnaise, salad dressings, eggs, and salty foods.
How to prevent darkening of silver
Sooner or later, the silver will darken. This is its nature. To keep silver longer white, it should be protected from moisture, not worn every day, not cleaned too much.
In modern production, rhodium plating is used, thanks to which silver retains its shine and color longer. In this case, the jewelry is covered with a protective layer of rhodium or a special type of silver. Until this layer is rubbed off, the product will look good and will not blacken.
Store silver items in polyester bags. After wearing silver, it should be rinsed with warm water and wiped with a clean cloth. This will slow down the browning process. You can store silver along with chalk, which absorbs toxins.
Use a silver cleaning solution or cloth to clean darkened silver. Hoping that the silver can turn white, it is cleaned with various improvised means. Do not use toothpaste to clean silver. Its ingredients are too harsh for silver, and cleaning will do more harm than good.