All owners of silver Judaica and items face the same problem - silver items tend to blacken fast. But silver blackening is not a long-term issue. Silver blackens due to oxidation that occurs naturally in oxygen. To put it simply, air blackens silver a little bit each day by adding thin layers of oxidation. Over time these layers of oxidation begin to turn any silver piece yellow or brown, which eventually blackens completely. Unfortunately, if the situation and blackness get too deep, simple cleaning tools are not enough to return the item to its formal look and more intense and costly tools must be used to properly clean the silver.
How then can we stop silver from blackening? First, take preventative steps. If you take out and lightly clean your silver items once a month the layers of oxidation will not sit on the items, and therefore will not allow for the air to damage the silver. If silver items are left untouched for months at a time then the layers of oxidation build-up, making cleaning immensely more difficult. Would you vacuum your carpet or wash your dishes only once every few months? So why do you let your silver remain untouched for months on end? Cleaning them lightly once a month can keep them looking clean and will also prevent the future cost of cleaning the damage from blackened silver. The cleaning need not even be a full washing! Simply clean the outside and inside of silver items with a soft and dry cloth once a month and the items will look like new.
Take this tip from me and keep your silver items looking fresh and new for years to come!