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by Jesus Zabala - 5 min read

Do Men’s Silver Chains Tarnish?

Men’s silver chains are a popular accessory that adds style and sophistication to any outfit. Yet, a common concern among people who own or are considering buying a men’s silver chain is - do men’s silver chains tarnish?

This article will explain the causes of tarnishing, prevention measures, and effective ways to clean and maintain men’s silver chains, ensuring they stay looking their best for many years.

Men’s Silver Chains Tarnish

Source: jewelrylab.co

Do Men’s Silver Chains Tarnish?

Are men’s silver chains prone to tarnishing? To put it simply, yes, they are. 

Tarnishing is the process in which silver reacts with substances in the air or on the skin, resulting in a dull or even blackened appearance.

Silver tarnishes if it is exposed to humidity, salty air, chlorine, sulfur, cosmetics, perspiration, household bleach, or other strong chemicals.

Check out this sterling silver chain for men, and remember that it is important to understand the causes of tarnishing to be able to prevent it.

Causes of Tarnishing


Oxidation is the process of how silver reacts to oxygen exposure. Oxidation happens when silver is exposed to both oxygen and sulfides.

Chemical reactions

Silver will tarnish if it reacts with substances like sulfur, salts, and acids. If you expose silver to sulfur-containing gasses in the air, it will get discolored and darkened. Silver reacts with the gas and forms a surface layer of tarnish. 

Moisture and humidity

Relative humidity (RH) affects the tarnishing rate. Silver tarnishes faster if the relative humidity increases. As a result, it is best to keep silver chains in dry conditions (below 50% of RH).

Preventive Measures to Minimize Tarnishing

If you are a person who loves silver chains and other silver jewelry, then you must have noticed that silver loses its shine over time. While it is normal for silver jewelry to tarnish, there are some tips on how to prevent silver from tarnishing.

Use anti-tarnish coatings

Anti-tarnish slips provide a protective layer to reduce tarnishing risks. You can add them to your ziplock bags. The anti-tarnish coatings are affordable, small, and easy to find. 

Put your silver chains in these bags and keep them in a dark, cool place. As a prevention measure, keep in mind that the lower the humidity, the better.

Some people add silica gel, chalk, or charcoal into the bags to remove moisture. Remember that leaving the jewelry in the bathroom is a bad idea because of the moisture. Take off your silver chain before showering and wear it after your perfume or lotion has sunk in. 

Storage and packaging 

You should keep your silver chains in a drawer or a jewelry box with tarnish-resistant flannel. Moreover, you can place your jewelry between a cloth or cotton muslin and then in a ziplock bag. It is important to choose an appropriate storage option to limit exposure.

As additional measures, avoid contact with substances that cause tarnishing.

 Cleaning a Silver Chain

Source: jewelrylab.co

How to Clean a Silver Chain That Turned Black

Tarnish appears as a dark, dull layer on the surface of the silver. It can be frustrating to see your shiny silver chain lose its luster, but the good news is that tarnish can be easily removed. There are several methods to clean a silver necklace chain that has turned black. 

You can use a silver polish or a homemade solution to remove tarnish from a men's silver chain

Baking soda and water

  • Make the paste - mix equal parts of baking soda and water to make a paste.
  • Apply the paste onto the blackened areas of the chain - gently rub the paste into the silver using a soft cloth or a toothbrush.
  • Rinse the chain - rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth or microfiber towel. 


  1. Apply toothpaste onto the tarnished areas - apply a small amount of diluted, non-gel toothpaste directly onto the tarnished area. Remember not to use toothpaste with a whitening formula.
  2. Rub the toothpaste into the silver - gently rub the toothpaste into the silver using a soft cloth or a toothbrush.
  3. Rinse the chain - rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth.

Aluminum foil and baking soda

  1. Line a dish with aluminum foil and place the silver chain on top of the foil.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda over the chain - the soda needs to contact both the chain and the foil. 
  3. Pour boiling water over the chain - pour water until the chain is completely covered. Let the chain soak for a few minutes.
  4. Rinse and dry the chain - remove the chain from the dish, rinse it with water, and dry it with a clean cloth.

Lemon juice and salt

  1. Squeeze fresh lemon juice - squeeze fresh lemon juice into a bowl, add a pinch of salt to the lemon juice, and mix well.
  2. Scrub the tarnished areas - dip a soft cloth or toothbrush into the mixture and gently scrub the tarnished areas of the chain.
  3. Rinse the chain - rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth.

Silver polish

  1. Buy a silver polishing product - purchase a reputable silver polish from a jewelry store or supermarket.
  2. Follow the instructions for use - read the instructions on the packaging to apply the polish to the silver chain. Gently rub the polish into the tarnished areas using a soft cloth.
  3. Rinse the chain - rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth.

Remember to clean your chain gently and avoid using abrasive material, like scrub brushes or steel wool, to avoid scratching. Moreover, bear in mind that repeated polishing can wear down the silver over time, so try to clean it occasionally. 

Vinegar and baking soda

  1. Make the paste - mix two tablespoons of baking soda and ½ cup of white vinegar.
  2. Let your chain soak in the paste - leave your chain in the vinegar and baking soda mix for two to three hours.
  3. Rinse the chain - rinse and polish the chain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does 925 silver tarnish?

It is natural for your jewelry to tarnish over time. 925 silver tarnishes because of a reaction with non-metal elements or because of daily use. If you want your jewelry to last longer, you should take care of it.

What silver chain does not tarnish?

Rhodium on sterling silver does not tarnish.

Does sweat damage sterling silver?

Sterling silver tarnishes when exposed to sweat, among other things, like salty air, humidity, chlorine, sulfur, cosmetics, bleach, and other chemicals.


Do men’s silver chains tarnish? Yes. Understanding the causes of tarnishing, adopting preventive measures, and proper cleaning are important to ensure your men’s silver chain remains free from tarnish. By taking these steps, you can make your silver chain last long.

Remember to follow the instructions for cleaning and maintenance of your specific chain.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.