Home Tweakers' Asylum

Tweaks for systems, rooms and Do It Yourself (DIY) help. FAQ.

RE: Cleaning Pure Silver or Silver Plated Copper Connectors

Pure silver, like gold does NOT tarnish, or 'rust'.

However Pure silver is incredibly soft, and not used for very much

Sterling Silver, or 925, is 92.5% silver with the balance being coper, for strength. Copper will tarnish at the drop of a hat!
Typically the tarnish on silver alloys is a sulfide
As silver does not react to Oxygen.

The common source of sulfur to start this chain reaction is H2S, or Hydrogen Sulfide.
It can be accelerated by High Relative Humidity -
here are some sources of H2S/Sulfur:

Sources of tarnishing gases
Tarnishing gases may originate from the following sources (Ankersmit et al. 2005, Benson 2012, Selwyn 2004, Selwyn 1990):

Clays (e.g. certain modelling clays)
Drywall (poor quality)
Foods (certain ones such as eggs)
Glues (protein-based)
Heating fuel (especially coal-based)
Paints (certain ones)
People (intestinal gas emissions containing hydrogen sulfide)
Plaster casts (made with gypsum)
Pulp-and-paper industries
Sewer gases
Sulfur (elemental sulfur), sometimes used for:
Adhesives
Cement
Grout
Inlays in furniture
Munitions
Volcanoes and hot springs
Vulcanized rubber objects such as:
Ebonite
Latex gloves
Molding material (polysulfide rubber)
Pencil erasers
Rubber bands
Rubber gloves
Rubber o-rings
Rubber stoppers
Vulcanite
Water (some natural well water and bogs)
Wood (recovered from anaerobic environments)
Wool, wool felt

I have used paste and liquid polishes on silver (mostly Sterling, but some coin silver (10% Cu) for most of my life, and enjoyed wonderful results.

Most polishes are toxic, and will stain or damage cloth, wood or other porous materials attached to the silver piece.


Happy Listening


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