Removing Tarnish from Sterling Silver, Gold, and Tungsten Metals

Most metals found in your favorite jewelry can easily be polished up with the right product. However, each metal has a couple of unique characteristics that should be taken into consideration when the time comes to clean and remove tarnish. Some of the most popular metals on the market today are Sterling Silver, Gold, and Tungsten. Here are some tips for polishing these metals.

Sterling Silver

When you polish silver, remember that it is a metal that often involves constantly removing tarnish. Part of the reason for tarnish is because it contains copper which reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air. Chemicals such as perfume, lotions, and high humidity can cause tarnish to appear more quickly on silver. Try to store in an airtight bag and avoid the chemicals that cause tarnish to happen quickly. Polishing silver often will help to fix the problem of tarnish as well.


You may be fortunate enough to have only 24K gold (pure) pieces, but if you are like most of us, your gold jewelry that is lower in carats is susceptible to tarnish. There are a number of things that can cause gold to tarnish such as deodorant, perspiration, and any compounds that contain acid or sulphur. When gold is stored, it can also be susceptible to tarnish so it is best to keep it in a place where minimal to no oxygen is. When you are perspiring or around chemicals that can tarnish gold, it is smart to remove it from your body.


Tungsten rings and jewelry are sturdy but over time can tarnish. The tarnish comes from contact with chemicals used on a daily basis such as lotions, water with chlorine, and cleaning products. When Tungsten gets tarnished, it will lose the shiny look on the surface and become dull.  Polish Tungsten regularly and make sure to avoid chemicals that will cause tarnish to reappear.

Removing Tarnish from Gold, Sterling Silver, and Tungsten

Most metals can polish up quite easily but each metal has unique characteristics that should be considered when it comes time to polish and remove tarnish.  Today, there are many popular metals but at the top of the list are Gold, Sterling Silver, and Tungsten.  We have compiled some information about each of these metals and tips for keeping them looking shiny and new.

1.   Gold

If you are fortunate enough to only have pure gold pieces (24K) your jewelry is not susceptible to tarnish like in lower carat golds.  Many things can cause gold tarnish such as perspiration, deodorant, or compounds that contain sulphur or acid. Tarnish on gold can also happen when it is stored so it is best to store in a place where minimal to no oxygen reaches it.  Also remove gold jewelry such as rings or bracelets when they are at risk of exposure to harsh chemicals or perspiration.

2.   Sterling Silver

If you feel like you are constantly removing tarnish from your sterling silver, you are not alone.  Sterling Silver is a metal highly vulnerable to tarnish because it contains copper, which reacts to sulfur and moisture in the air.  High Humidity as well as chemicals such as perfume, lotions and acids can cause silver to tarnish more rapidly.  When you are storing silver, it is best to keep it in an airtight bag, which will help diminish tarnishing.  Also, avoid any unnecessary chemicals and remember to polish silver more often to keep it lustrous. 

3.   Tungsten

Rings and jewelry made from Tungsten are very durable but definitely tarnish over time.  Tungsten gets tarnished from agents that are used consistently everyday such as cleaning products, water with chlorine, and lotions.   When tarnish is visible on Tungsten, it will become dull and lose its shiny luster.  Make sure you avoid chemicals that will create tarnish and also polish tungsten regularly.