Why skin turns green - ICKINGER |

Why skin turns green from jewellery

Has your skin been left with a green stain after taking off jewellery? If so, you are not alone, most people have. The green excess is not harmful to you, and it can be washed off your skin with soap and water. This usually happens with multiple metals, like copper, silver, and gold, but most commonly with copper metals.

Think of an old copper coin, have you noticed a green discolouration? It is the same reaction with jewellery, the green colour is typically caused by the acids on your skin that oxidises with the metal causing discolouration. This happens when the copper reacts with sweat, lotions, chemicals, and other products.

Nevertheless, it can happen with a lot of other metals too, just less frequently. For all those reasons, what can you do to prevent the green residue? You can have the jewellery recoated with the precious metal if the protective outer layer has been worn off, or you can also coat them with clear nail polish, to prevent the reaction from the metal.

However, the nail polish will need to be reapplied every now and again. As stated above, getting green stains on the skin from certain jewellery metals is common and it does not hurt or harm your skin. However, if your skin is itchy or red after wearing certain types of metals, then you are most probably dealing with an allergic reaction to the metal instead of a common chemical reaction.

Tips on cleaning your tarnished jewellery

When you clean your jewellery, make sure that the methods are safe to use. Due to metals tarnishing being different from one another, here are a few suggestions on removing tarnish from jewellery by their metal type:


Use a soft polishing cloth with soap and water for cleaning delicately. First, test it on a small area to ensure it is safe, then dry your jewellery piece thoroughly. Leaving water on the metal can make the piece tarnish further.


Wearing your silver-plated jewellery on a regular basis can help keep them clean and their gorgeous gleam due to the natural oils from your skin. However, using a polishing cloth with chemical cleaners for silver jewellery can work for you. Be cautious with the chemicals because they can be extremely toxic if used incorrectly.


Believe it or not, gold does not need to be polished or cleaned because it stays polished naturally. On the other hand, if your gold jewellery does have some tarnish, you can use soap and lukewarm water with a soft cloth for polishing and gently cleaning. After doing so, either air dry or use a delicate towel to dry the jewellery piece.

Rose gold:

To clean your rose gold jewellery, firstly soak it in lukewarm water. Then, using a mild soap and a soft cloth, gently remove any dirt. After cleaning, dry your jewellery with another soft cloth to prevent scratches.

Extra tips:

The best kind of soap to use is a mild soap that does not contain any harsh chemicals or abrasives to clean your jewellery which is safe, especially for precious metals and stones. Protectant spray, usually found in jewellery stores can also help prevent tarnishing, most of all – keep your jewellery dry and store them properly away from moist areas and direct sunlight.

How to store your jewellery without tarnishing

It is normal for jewellery to tarnish, and it is easy to prevent it from happening and to take care of them. There are several ways to store your jewellery to prevent tarnish, depending on what metal and type of jewellery. Here are some tips to consider in order to protect your jewellery pieces:

  • Avoid storing your jewellery in humid places such as the bathroom. Try to keep them dry as much as possible. Metals degrade and tarnish a lot quicker from moisture.
  • Separate your clean and tarnished pieces of jewellery, as the tarnished metals will tarnish faster if kept in contact with each other.
  • To prevent tarnish, organise your jewellery by metal types and separate the fine and semi-fine jewellery using a jewellery box or organiser.
  • Fragile jewellery should be stored in a dark and dry place.
  • Always keep your jewellery cleaned and polished.

3_How to store your jewellery without tarnishing

We can all agree that jewellery is a special accessory to have, whether they are of sentimental value to you or just something you love. For this reason, you want to keep your jewellery looking its absolute best. As a result of dirt from the atmosphere, skin oils and especially lotions can become dirty. It may tarnish if not cleaned or looked after properly.

Regularly cleaning your jewellery pieces will help keep them looking as stunning as the day they were purchased. It is particularly important to take care of your jewellery and prevent them from tarnishing; our tips mentioned above can help you do this.

Jewellery pieces can be cleaned, inspected, polished, or restored by our staff at Ickinger jewellery, located in Tzaneen. Our team has years of industry experience with considerable knowledge and skills and has been operating since 1968. We have attention to detail that is on point when it comes to jewellery manufacturing and care and will be eager to help you restore your jewellery without hesitation.

August 4, 2022

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