Why You Should Store A Piece Of Chalk In Your Jewelry Drawer

Buying a new piece of jewelry is always an exciting time. You're eager to try on several before deciding on one that suits you and you take the precious accessory back home vowing to keep it safe (and shiny). 

Chances are you collect a few (or a lot of) pieces you love over the years. Tempted as you might be to throw all of them into a jewelry box your grandmother gave you for Christmas, the experts would tell you to think about a few things before you do that. Notice how your sterling silver necklace or gold-plated pendant hidden away in the recesses of your trunk start to look a little darker and duller every time you pick them up? That would be the work of tarnish. Your jewelry pieces — especially sterling silver and gold plated ones — have a tendency to react with the air, its elements, and moisture and become discolored over time. 

Jewelry designer Zoë Richardson told Better Homes and Gardens, "Tarnish is a product of chemical reaction that is caused by the other metals that are mixed with silver reacting to moisture and sulfur in the air ... Things like perfume, hairspray, deodorant, and moisturizers can all contribute to further tarnishing of your silver due to the chemicals reacting with the silver." Sounds like something you can't possibly avoid? Think again. Follow this simple hack while keeping your jewelry organized.  

Use chalk to tackle moisture when you store jewelry

Turns out you can use this method for more than just storing your mother's precious silverware in the kitchen. Adding pieces of chalk to your jewelry box will prevent your pieces from tarnishing. 

Find an adhesive-free box or container to store your jewelry in, preferably separated by partitions or wrapped in different pieces of cloth (via Silver Chic). Make sure the box is big enough so the different metals aren't placed too close together. Place some pieces of chalk inside the box, close it, and store in a cool and dry place away from sunlight. The chalk works much like silica gel or activated charcoal by absorbing whatever moisture is in the box, making it a perfect household item to prevent discolored jewelry. 

If you want to be completely sure your accessories will be free of moisture, try wiping them before storing them. Use "a soft, non-abrasive, chemical and polish-free cloth to rid the silver of any make-up, skin oils, dirt, etc," shared jewelry expert Marc Rothenberg with LoveToKnow

Storing your jewelry might require more care than you thought

Protecting your jewelry from the elements when you're out and about is one thing, but when you're safely home, you might be tempted to leave them in a pile on your dresser. Unfortunately, that is a recipe for disaster. 

Paying attention to the temperature and humidity of your storage space and finding a jewelry box with a soft lining that won't scratch your metals are good storage tips to follow, per The Spruce. There are a variety of tiered or compartmentalized jewelry boxes you can choose from. Rothenberg told LoveToKnow that "chlorine and sulfur are two of the main causes of tarnish," so it goes without saying that you have to keep your accessories away from these. 

Even if the thought of carefully putting away your gold-plated earrings the next time you get home feels exhausting, remind yourself of how quickly tarnish can dull the appearance of your much-loved possession. Some chalk and care go a long way in storing them the proper way.