Storing silver in plastic wrap was popular years ago, but it was never a good idea because plastic contains sulfur and traps moisture, both of which encourage tarnishing. In warm temperatures, the plastic can stick to the metal. The removal would probably need the help of a Silversmith.
Storing Existing Silver
If you plan on storing your silver and it is already tarnished, you can store it as is using the following method. You need to keep in mind that if you store it away tarnished and plan to use it at a later date you need to allow for time to clean it prior to its use. If you silver is in good condition when stored you should not need to polish it prior to use, just a simple wash and dry.
Wrap each piece in an acid free tissue or soft anti-tarnish tissue, put in a polyethylene bag such as Ziplock, put in an anti-tarnish strip / desiccant, press out as much air as possible and seal. This should prevent the tarnish from growing.
- Lesser air prevents reaction
- Anti-tarnish containing activated carbon absorb harmful gases which can cause tarnish in the air.
- Desiccant removes excess humidity in the air, thus slow down tarnishing.
A better option is to wrap it in a sulfur-absorbing cloth such as Pacific Silver cloth or other bands of silver protective cloths. These cloths claimed to last for 15 to 20 years unless they are washed. If the material is washed you have ruined its ability to absorb the sulfur gasses. The reason is because, manufactures for these cloth claim that the cloth are embedded with thousands of particles of silver. These particles catch the tarnish-causing gases before they reach the silver article stored inside.
Some storage material should not be used. Wrapping in newspaper or exposing to rubber band can cause severe discoloration which may require professional cleaning. Rubber band will leave line in sterling silver and may not be able to be removed with household silver cleaners. Rubber bands can etch through silver plate, which in most cases will require the item to be re-silvered. Some plastic wraps contains tarnish producing elements and can also adhere to the piece making it difficult to remove without using solvents.
It should not even be kept near to or touching smoke, household paints, rubber, newspaper, wool, felt or velvet.
Do not use newspaper, plastic, or rubber bands, which can cause damage.
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