How To Keep Fake Necklaces From Tarnishing

Fake necklaces can instantly add a touch of glamor to your look. However, because of the thin metal coating applied on them, they tend to tarnish easily, making them look unsightly. Fortunately, it’s easy to care for fake necklaces and keep them in good condition.

You can keep fake necklaces from tarnishing by wearing them less often, keeping them dry and clean, and storing them properly. You can also coat fake necklaces with clear nail polish or clear gloss acrylic paint to keep them in excellent condition. 

Plated necklaces need proper care to prevent them from chipping and tarnishing. This article will discuss all the ways you can keep your fake jewelry looking brand new and suggest ways to restore tarnished fake necklaces. Let’s get started.

1. Wear Fake Necklaces Less Often

When you frequently wear fake necklaces, you expose them to body oils, sweat, and environmental pollutants that tarnish them. Fake jewelry is often made of inexpensive materials that react with the substances released from your skin. They can cause your necklace to change colors and become dull over time.

In addition to perspiration and environmental contaminants, daily wear-and-tear can also cause fake necklaces to lose their shine. Over time, these effects add up, resulting in an unattractive piece of jewelry that will need replacing soon. 

Therefore, it’s good to wear fake necklaces less often and on cool days without too much sunlight. Doing so avoids putting them at risk of fading and losing their beautiful appearance.

Furthermore, you should avoid touching jewelry without first cleaning your hands, as the grease and dirt in them can discolor them.

2. Remove Fake Jewelry Before Swimming and Other Strenuous Activities

When you go swimming with your jewelry, the chlorine in the water can corrode it. And if you swim at the beach, the salty waters can eat away the fine polish on your necklace. Without this protective coating, your accessories can lose their beautiful shiny look.

Moreover, the salt residue can remain on the pieces even after you have left the ocean and cause tarnish stains on the jewelry.

Exercising, playing a sport, or performing household chores such as pushing a lawn mower can make you sweat, and this moisture can tarnish your plated necklace. So, always carry with you a small plastic bag or container where you can store your jewelry before you engage in any activities that can cause you to break a sweat.

3. Prevent Exposure to Lotion and Perfume

Beauty products may contain substances that can strip your necklaces of their sparkling look. When applying lotion or perfume, you should let them sit on your body for a few minutes to get absorbed into the skin before you wear fake jewelry. Apply perfume and hair sprays before putting on your costume jewelry to prevent the scents from ruining the necklaces.

Moreover, you must avoid applying heavy lotions and scents that can make your skin greasy and sweaty, which can lead to the jewelry getting tarnished.

4. Keep Your Fake Jewelry Dry and Clean

Use a soft, dry cloth to clean your fake necklaces immediately after removing them for storage. Thoroughly run the cloth over every part of the jewelry to ensure that no tarnishing elements remain on it.

Sweat, lotion, hair oil or spray, and other environmental pollutants can tarnish your cheap jewelry when they get in contact with it. By cleaning the pieces as soon as possible, you will remove any damaging substances that settled on your necklace as you were out and about.

Additionally, dry the necklaces straight away after they have come in contact with water or any other liquid to prevent the moisture from speeding up their degradation. You should also avoid wearing them in cold weather where they are at risk of getting wet, and in case you get caught in the rain, you should remove them and keep them in a bag.

Moreover, you need to ensure that they are entirely dry before storing them to avoid putting them at a high risk of tarnishing.

5. Store Fake Jewelry Correctly To Prevent Tarnishing

Keeping cheap necklaces in the same jewelry box or bag can cause them to get entangled or rub against each other and get scratched. You should always store cheap necklaces in their own sealable bags before placing them in the jewelry box if you want to prevent them from getting damaged. As you close the bag, push out all air inside it, as air can tarnish the necklaces through oxidation.

Place a Silica Packet Inside the Sealable Plastic Bags To Absorb Moisture

Moisture can form inside the bags even after you push out all the air from them before sealing them because of the humidity in the room. When this moist air comes in contact with the metallic elements in the jewelry, it can cause them to rust and discolor.

Silica packets will help to keep your fake necklaces safe from getting tarnished. To save money, you can reuse the silica packets that come with your purses, shoes, or vitamins. Moreover, even placing chalk inside the Ziploc bags and jewelry boxes can also prevent silver necklaces from tarnishing.

Keep Costume Necklaces With Pearls and Opal in a Fabric Bag 

Avoid placing pearl and opal accessories in airtight bags or boxes, such as lockboxes and Ziploc bags, because they lack air, which these necklaces need to stay lustrous. Pearls and Opals need moisture, so storing them in an item that does not support the free circulation of air can cause them to become too dry and crack. A fabric bag or cloth enables these necklaces to breathe and prevents them from getting ruined.

Moreover, when you keep pearl and opal jewelry in plastic bags, they can react to the plastic elements and end up deteriorating.

Keep a Low Humidity Temperature in the Room Where the Necklaces Are Stored

High humidity in a room can cause jewelry to fade faster than usual. So you need to ensure that the temperature in your bedroom is always low by running a dehumidifier or air conditioner, especially in summer.

Also, store these plastic bags in a place not exposed to direct sunlight or near a vent, as they can cause moisture to build up inside the bag and tarnish plated jewelry. A dark and cool closet is the best place to store them.

6. Coat Fake Necklaces With Clear Nail Polish

You may apply one or two coats on the necklaces to prevent them from turning color and tarnishing. Also, doing this can prevent oxidation of the jewelry, which can turn your skin green when you put it on. However, you will have to reapply the polish on a regular basis because it can wear off after some time.

To effectively coat the necklaces and ensure that vanish does not prematurely flake off, here is what you should do:

  • Carry out this application on a table or flat surface.
  • Let the varnish dry before putting on this costume jewelry.

7. Apply Protective Spray on Gold Costume Jewelry

This protective shield can guard against tarnishing elements in the environment and on your body, such as water, sweat, and sunshine. The spray can also prevent you from getting rashes and hives from the fake necklaces.

If you opt to use polyurethane, however, first coat it on a small part of a necklace to test it on your skin and see whether you are allergic to it or not before spraying all the jewelry.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Find a cool place outdoors (on your porch, preferably) where you can paint the jewelry. Spraying the pieces outdoors allows the paint fumes to diffuse easily and the necklaces to dry quickly.
  2. Gently clean the necklaces to remove any grease and dust.
  3. Lay the fake necklaces on a table covered with old wrapping paper to prevent the spray from damaging your table and the jewelry from sticking to the table.
  4. Hold the can 5 to 6 inches (13 to 15 centimeters) away from the jewelry and spray them in a sweeping motion until the pieces are extensively coated.
  5. Let the necklaces sit for about 10 to 15 minutes in order for them to dry before turning them.
  6. Coat the back of the jewelry and allow them to dry thoroughly before storing them.
  7. Alternatively, you could suspend the necklaces on strings with their backs facing you inside a cardboard box. This prevents the paint from splashing everywhere. Spray them the same way you did in the above steps. Allow them to dry before turning them and coating the other side.
  8. If the overall finish is not to your liking after the paint has dried, use acetone to wipe it off and reapply following the same steps.

You need to use some of the best spray paints on the market to ensure that your jewelry gets the proper protection, and here are the two brands to try:

Tarnish-Me-Not Jewelry Spray

This clear, waterproof, and fast-drying spray shields your jewelry from tarnishing while at the same time protecting your skin from metal allergies and irritations. It is hypoallergenic, which makes it a good fit for people with hypersensitive skin and those who want to avoid any risk of their skin getting irritated by a sealant.

KRYLON UV-Resistant Clear Gloss Spray

With this spray, your fake necklaces will get a permanent finish that can prevent them from fading and also shields them against harmful UV rays. Sun exposure can cause jewelry, especially gold ones, to discolor, losing its shine and sparkle over time.

How To Make Tarnished Fake Necklaces Shiny Again

You may find that even after following the tips mentioned above, your fake necklaces may still tarnish and get ruined over time. Below are methods you can try to make them shiny and beautiful once again.

Clean Up Silver Jewelry With Toothpaste

Use tartar control toothpaste, which contains hydrated silica, to return the tarnished necklaces to their original shiny look. Follow these steps:

  1. Place a small amount of tartar control toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub it onto the jewelry in a circular motion to remove the tarnish.
  2. Use a damp cloth to wipe off the paste once the piece is polished. Keep dampening the fabric until the necklace is totally clean. The silver will be back to looking shiny and new.

Polish the Jewelry With Baking Soda

You can use baking soda to clean brass, copper, and sterling silver jewelry. Here are the cleaning steps you should follow:

  1. Place a glass bowl on a table or countertop and line it with aluminum foil.
  2. Pour a tablespoon (14 grams) of baking soda into the container and add the tarnished necklaces.
  3. Pour hot water over the costume jewelry until it is entirely covered by water.
  4. Let the jewelry sit in the water for a few minutes to enable the baking soda to polish the pieces.
  5. Remove the necklaces from the bowl and rinse them with clean water before using a microfiber cloth to dry them.

Use Mild Soap To Clean the Gold-plated Jewelry and Those With Gemstones

You can restore these pieces to their original shine in the following steps:

  1. Mix mild dish detergent with warm water in a big cup.
  2. Dip a toothbrush in this mixture before using it to scrub the necklaces.
  3. Place the pieces under running water to rinse off the soap.
  4. Dry them with a microfiber or lint-free cloth to reveal their restored shine.


Fake necklaces can last longer without tarnishing if you wear them less frequently and take proper care of them. You must prevent water, chemicals, pollutants, and sweat from coming into contact with your jewelry.  Store them in their own plastic bag where they cannot get entangled and scratched by other jewelry. Lastly, consider applying a protective spray or clear polish.

To restore tarnished jewelry, you can use tartar control toothpaste with hydrated silica. Baking soda and a mild dish detergent can also keep your jewelry clean and make them look shiny again.

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